I’m killing two goals with one stone tonight: my update on NaNo/ROW80, and my first 1,000 words of the novel. Yep, I’m going live with the first 1,000 words of the novel, brave or what.
I saw on Twitter on day one, that people were posting their first lines. It made me realise the first line had to be good – real good (OK, I knew that already, it reminded me!), but not just the first line, sentence, paragraph, the whole of the beginning.
Maybe that’s why the writing isn’t coming easily to me. When I say not easily, by the end of today, I should be rocking 6,667 words. I’m currently on 1,500. Ouch!
I’m not feeling it this year. Steve and I were discussing it last night, which gave me an idea of why.
This isn’t romance, or chick lit. This year it’s going to be a mystery/thriller. I’ve never been sure if I can write that. I think you need to be really clever, and think up great twists, and have a great plan. I don’t really yet, and I’m not sure I can think up enough. Of course everyone I say that to tells me I’m being stupid, of course I can. Maybe I just need the confidence to.
Because I don’t have the confidence in myself right now, I think this novel is going to be a mess. But, as Steve pointed out, it’s not meant to be a finished product on 30th November. Other than needing tens of thousands of words added, it’s also going to need editing, where all the problems can be fixed, and I can make it a decent novel. All I need to do in November is get to the 50,000 line.
But I’m a perfectionist. I don’t want to start something knowing it’s probably not going to be any good. I want it to be good from the off.
This from a girl who NEVER edits as she goes. Can you believe it?
So, I’m behind. Massively. And I’ve got a massively busy week this week, I’m out all nights but one. Eeek! Steve’s challenged me to catch up by Sunday next week. So that’s my goal this week – get to 18,334 by Sunday night.
Jeez. Saying it like that sounds crazy. I’m not going to work out how many words a day that is, cause I’m pretty sure it will scare the hell out of me. I’m just going to aim for OVER 1,667 per day. Including today. Although I’ve only given myself another 45 minutes to get there (convinced I need an early night to get through this week). I’m going to write at lunch, when I get home before dinner, and after dinner. Oh, I’m going out a lot. Well, still.
I’m going to pretty much ignore all other goals except blogging. I need to get at least one ROW80/NaNo check in this week, and post some writing – probably from the novel again. So minimum of two blogs. One really, I can merge them like this one. I’d like two though.
So that’s it. Easy goals. Just under 17,000 words. And 1-2 blogs. Easy, right??
And now, to Love Authority.
I’m going on the old Fiction Friday rules, and NaNo necessity, of not editing as I go, and posting without editing! Eeek! This is the prologue and beginning of the first chapter of my 2012 NaNo novel Love Authority.
Prologue: Four days ago.
‘I give up,’ Amy said putting her wine down on the table and sinking into the chair opposite me, ‘He’s not coming.’
I look up from my cheese sandwich, an extravagance which I thought David might kill me for, but I was so hungry because of staying late at work I hadn’t been able to go home. I just hoped David wouldn’t make me ask Amy for the money back for it.
‘Aw, Ames, I’m so sorry. Here, you want half of this?’ She shook her head, then laid it down on the table on her arms.
‘Why can’t I just find someone nice?’ she said, muffled through her arms. ‘Why does this always happen to me?’
‘You’ve been stood up before?’
She lifted her head to give me an evil eye. ‘No, you know what I mean. I can’t find anyone nice. It just sucks.’
I reached over and stroked her arm. ‘Least you’ve got Shannon.’ At the mention of her daughter’s name, Amy’s face lit up, a little.
‘Yes, I’ve got Shannon.’ I couldn’t help being jealous. Yes, I had the husband, which was fantastic (can you hear the sarcasm?), but to have a child? That would be magical. More than magical. It was everything I’d ever dreamed about. But, I coudlnt’ think like that. I didn’t want to get dragged down by the bad feelings that resurrect when I think of what could have been.
‘There will be someone out there, I promise.’
‘Do you? That’s bold. I need to face facts, no one wants a divorcee. God, I can’t blame them, I wouldn’t want to meet someone that had chosen to get a divorce. No, I’m destined to sit on the shelf.’
Secretly I thought she was so brave getting divorced. Of course for her, the beatings were the motivation, I don’t have that, just a plain old boring marriage to a boring man. So not worth a divorce. I’d just have to grin and bare it, and hope he died before I did so I’d have some time alone.
At least he didn’t beat me up. That’s a good thing.
Chapter One: Two days ago.
My phone buzzed with excitement as I got out the tube, my heart sank. Please, not work. I’d only left an hour ago, but that didn’t mean someone couldn’t have called in sick in that time. It had happened too many times.
I debated ignoring it, but I knew the extra money would be good, so I gave in. I was shocked when Shannon’s school number was my missed. My 7 missed
That couldn’t be good.
Before I listed to the voicemail, I rang them back. 7 Calles meant something was wrong, I may not have time to list to my message.
‘Hello? I was always quite intimidated by the teachers at the school. It wasn’t posh or anything, but they were teachers, so incredibly far from us it didn’t feel too different to speaking to the king or queen. Amy always said I was being silly, and they were fine (moost of them anyway), but I couldn’t’ shake the feeling.
‘Uh, hello. It’s X X, Shannon X’s Aunt. I’ve had some…’
‘X, good. We’ve got Shannon here. Her Mum didn’t turn up. Can you collect her?’
‘She didn’t’ collect Shannon? I asked pointlessly. I was shocked, Amy never let Shannon down, never forgot her, nothing. Ever. ‘Have you tried calling her?’
The teacher cleared her throat down the phone, obviously to make a point. ‘Many times,’ she said. X, we have to have Shannon collected soon. We have homes to go to ourselves.’
I looked at my watch to calculate the time it would take by bus or tube to get across town. Too long. I ground my teeth.
‘Certainly. I can be there in 15 minutes.’ There was an intake of breath down the phone, obviously she wanted me there quicker. ‘I’m sorry, that’s the soonest I can get there.’ I hung up the phone and looked round for a taxi, praying I’d get that phone call tomorrow offering another shift to make up the taxi money. At this rate David would divorce me and I’d be left out on the streets.
‘Aunty X!’ The second Shannon saw me she came running into my arms. I lifted and spun her round, trying to ignore the looks of disgust from the teacher behind her. ‘Is Mummy ok?’ Shannon whispered as I set her back down. I looked at the teacher and waved.
‘Thank you. Sorry.’ Then I grabbed Shannon’s hand and ran as fast I as I knew her little legs would take her.
‘Where’s Mummy?’ Shannon asked when the door closed behind us. I bent down to her level.
‘I don’t know Shannon.’ I’d tried calling her multiple times on my way over. It was ringing and ringing, not even her voicemail was picking up. I had no idea why not, or where she was, or why she wasn’t answering it. I’m really worried, but I can’t let Shannon know that.
‘I’m sure she’s fine, you know sometimes she’s a bit scatty.’ She wasn’t, but I doubted Shannon would argue. ‘So how about you come over to ours for dinner?’ She nodded, not looking too worried. That was one of us.
By the time we get home, I’ve still not heard back from Amy. I’d tried her a couple of times, telling Shannon I was calling David to tell him I was bringing her home with me. I’d sent him a text. He still hasn’t replied. I hope it means he’s working late.
That isn’t really my worry though, Amy is. Amy and Shannon. The longer I don’t hear back from Amy, the more worried I get. Luckily, Shannon seems ok. I guess because I was ok to pick her up, and sometimes I do, she doesn’t feel that worried. As long as we’ve heard from her by bedtime.
‘What do you want for dinner?’ I asked Shannon as we sat her in front of the TV. Only when I asked the question, I realised we probably didn’t have much in. It was Friday, I was due to go shopping tomorrow.
‘Can I –‘
‘How about I surprise you?’ I cut in. I didn’t want to disappoint her with not having what she wanted. She looked surprised, but nodded. She really was a good kid.
Before I went to make dinner, or find something to make for dinner, I remembered she’d left a toy dog at ours last time she was there. I went to find it.
‘Hey Shannon, look what I’ve found.’ She didn’t turn round, but lifted her hand to her face, I realised she was wiping tears. I rushed over, pulling her into a tight hug. ‘What’s wrong girly?’
‘Where’s Mummy? I want my Mummy.’ I sat down, and pulled her on to my lap so I could rock her back and forth.
‘I know baby. I know.’ What else could I say? I didn’t know where she was, or when she’d be back. A small part of me was wondering if she’d even be back.
I’d love to hear what you think, just please, ignore the typos, grammar, and lack of editing. Words are more important today than editing 😉