A few years ago, I started NaNoWriMo with no idea what I was going to write. On Halloween night, I finally wrote out 30 life questions (heavy things about marriage, children, death, taxes, you know) on strips of paper, folded them and threw them in bowl. Each day, I read a question and then tried to write a 2000 word chapter from that prompt.
On the fifth day, I don't remember the question, but as I got into my story, I realized that this was the beginning of what would be my nano project. When I finished, I had my first regency romance, Miranda's Heart. And it wasn't a bad story, either. I let go of all of the things I needed to research and just put myself in Austen mode. It was probably the most fun, I've ever had writing a story.
My story took my hero Miranda through a broken romance, to meeting and befriending three brothers who moved in nearby. Through much fun and quite a bit of sorrow, she eventually marries the middle brother. Happily Ever After, right?
Well, I thought so, but this year, I again had no idea what to write. I'd just spent the last 5 months mostly on the couch, unable to write or even read much. After having my thyroid removed and along with it, the cancer it contained, I knew that my celebration had to be writing a book. But it had to be a fun book.
So, I hit on the idea of another regency. And so, the plot for Miranda's Daughter started to form in my brain.
Today, I got a late start, but finally during my writing group at the library, I started on the story. Unfortunately, I wrote the first book on my desk top computer - at home. Today, I was away from home and on my laptop (with lack of preparation) and did not remember the love interest's name, or even Miranda's last name or her husband's. After, the tenth time of typing in "what's his name" and giving up on finding a suitable name for his son (I just started calling him Reggie), I stopped at just over a thousand words.
Tonight, though, I was able to get a little more into the story and start seeing where it was going. The love interest's name is Caldwell and Reggie became Oliver. The conflict is developing nicely. I'm having fun.
My goal was 3000 words each day, but today I'm settling for 2009. It feels good to have my brain back and to be writing again. I'll catch you up on the story tomorrow.
"You are not a fraud," the small town girl with cinnamon hair repeated to herself as the Garmin directed her group of writing friends into Salt Lake City for the 2011 ldstorymakers conference.
By the end of the weekend, she would know that she was neither a fraud nor supremely gifted, as she'd believed. These facts bothered her, as did this example of author intrusion.
Epilogue: The humbled writer returned to Wyoming, armed with knowledge, strengthened by the power of hundreds of writers gathered in one place, fueled by the best chocolate pie she'd ever tasted, and determined that this would be the year she finally became a professional writer. Here is a record of what she learned along the way.