Last night I won NaNoWriMo 2014 with less than two hours to spare. Today I am doing the same things as every other winner.
No, it’s not a rule that your whole life must go to the dogs while you work feverishly on your manuscript. Strictly speaking, my house was no less slovenly that it usually is–complete with the snowdrift of clothes across the bedroom floor. Though I don’t remember cleaning the toilet this month. Usually I’d do that once or twice.
Did that now.
The Youngest of Immortals has been birthed. I’ve spent the month with a brand new cast of characters that were actually trapped in my head for a number of years. I outlined some of the themes of this story in “Going AWOL and Writing a Book,” but essentially, this is first book in a series of stories about Jack, the youngest member of a secret society of Immortal people. Jack has never come to grips with the curse of being Immortal, and now his wife, his last link to his former mortal life, is about to die of cancer.
Jack is a death addict. He cannot die, but he can come very, very close before he ‘rebounds’ and death spits him back out. He gets a drug-like rush from that near-fatal experience, and a few hours of peace before he wakes up to reality.
This is where Alannah and Alexander, both members of the Society of Immortals, find him. The question is, now that Jack knows he isn’t alone in his immortality, will he have the courage to make a new life for himself or will he chase death to the end?
Jack is a bit of a loser and I enjoyed writing him. He says the stupidest things, and constantly pokes at and offends Alannah, despite the fact that she’s one of the only people left who cares whether he lives or dies. It is clearly a defence mechanism, but if you take what he says at face value, it’s hilarious. I hope I’m not the only one who will think so.
People showed up who weren’t supposed to show up. A woman who was supposed to be an incidental character wound up being this femme fatal… that’s about all I can say about that. I was writing from an outline, but you can never plan for everything. Stories take on lives of their own.
In the last four days of NaNoWriMo, I raced to the finish by writing about 15,000 words. Thank God I’d booked time off of work, because in the two weeks prior, life got a bit crazy. Heck, I got a bit crazy (a subject for another post. Suffice to say, there was a meltdown). I went for days without writing.
To make matters worse, my outline was too short. I had to go back and drum up scenes to extend the novel past the 50,000 word mark. 50,000 words is still too short, in my mind, but as I finish the series I expect to find material to add in.
And I still had time to go Christmas shopping–Black Friday and all.
There was also time to learn something new. Last year I learned about the UFC. This year I leaned how to run on a treadmill. At the beginning I was all scared, but I did NOT fall off the treadmill. I successfully learned to run on a treadmill, and have now completed two 10K’s as well as a number of shorter workouts.
Running full tilt while watching Criminal Minds is an experience, I’ll tell you.
I have successfully joined the ranks of the gym rats, and the NaNoWriMo 2014 winners. Cheers!