I’ve done it: I’ve joined National Novel Writing Month. =:0 This evil suggestion came to me from Elizabeth, over at The Garden Window, who is also dipping into the world of temporary insanity known as novel-writing. In this case, it may lead to permanent insanity, since the idea is to write a 50,000-word novel in thirty days. Are we nuts, or what?!
The only good thing to say about it is that you don’t have to complete the Magnum Opus — that’s just the goal. The real objective is to get you off your duff and start writing, and I must say that for me, it’s actually been a gift — I’ve entered text that was written but not typed, and am almost at the point where I can add new material that I’ve been kicking around for at least a year. You are supposed to start the novel on November 1, but I wrote to the contest organizers and explained that new material would require background that I had already written, and could I pleasepleaseplease use that material, if I wrote 50,000 new words? And they agreed. So for me, the objective will be to put in 65,000 words total, since the old material I had on hand comes to 15,000 words.
It is a revision of the third novel in my series, Unorthodox Truths. Those who read that first draft will doubtless be relieved to know that nearly all of it was scrapped, except for the very beginning, and the ideas I’ve been struggling to put on paper are much more realistic. Really: How does a man react when he learns that his wife has betrayed everything he holds dear? I don’t know either. Probably a mixture of rage and grief. I do know that I want this to be a supremely Orthodox novel, so repentance and forgiveness are huge themes.
It will also doubtless tick off nearly everybody I know. I mean, the hero — the good guy — works for the KGB, for crying out loud. There are no good guys in the KGB, right? (That’s why they call it fiction.) My heroine is a former FBI agent who betrays both her country (by marrying a KGB officer) and her husband (by not telling him about a serious breach of security), despite being a rabid conservative — OK, how do you put together a conservative with living in the Soviet Union?! As I said, it will tick off nearly everybody. Oh, and the best part: Both my heroine and my KGB officer are (or become) Orthodox Christians. Which will mightily annoy the Marxism-is-wonderful crowd, if this book ever actually gets published.
Feels great to be writing again!