This Novel That I’m Writing…My Modified NaNoWriMo Challenge…

Hello World,

My four main characters...

My four main characters…

As I type this post this morning, I am still marveling at what happened at approximately 11:58 p.m. on Monday night…What happened? Keep reading…Me…Jacqueline J. Holness finished writing the rough draft of her FIRST NOVEL…I hear you cheering for me…Thank you…Thank you…(I’m raising my hands in the air like I’m a boxer that just won a boxing match)…I cannot believe it because… well, first of all, I’ve always wanted to write novels, but I decided to become a journalist (in part) because I couldn’t imagine myself writing as long as I would need to write to complete a novel so I made myself content to craft pithy articles…

But I digress…I began writing this novel in March of last year at the exact same time I started planning for my wedding…I strategically did this because I wanted to write my love letter to single women (aka my novel) while I was on the way to being married…I thought it would provide an interesting dichotomy in my mind that would lend itself to creative genius…(Yes, I’m that ambitious 🙂 ) So every other week, I churned out 2,000 words, a requirement of my writing group that I joined, even as I selected flowers, booked caterers, meltdowned in Atlanta bridals stores, threatened legal action to get back a deposit…And then I got married and started doing wife stuff…And I stopped writing…And then I heard about a “Writing it Right” workshop my writer friend Rhonda McKnight was giving in November, and I thought it could help me get back on track…And it did help…I realized that I really needed to get to know my characters before I continued…So I did that for a while….

But then my characters started getting Mafia with me..I would be driving and one of my characters would hold a gun to my head…And then I would be forced to drive with one hand while my character would dictate what I should write with the other…Or my characters would jump into my body like I was Whoopi Goldberg in the movie “Ghost.” I would be at a networking function totally unrelated to my novel, and I would open my mouth to recite the small talk I rehearsed in my head…And instead of my speech, my character would tumble out, talking about what she wanted to do…It was embarrassing and scary at the same time…I was beginning to realize my characters wanted me to write the doggone novel already…

So I compromised by writing a blog post about them…And based on that singular blog post, I was booked for a radio interview to discuss a book I had yet to write(although I was assured that I could discuss other topics)…YIKES…So for guidance, I consulted the Internet which is actually one of God’s creations He uses to guide us until He returns for us (that and the Bible)…At least it seems that way anyway…LOL…So I discovered NaNoWriMo which is a movement in which writers are encouraged to write a novel of 50,000 words in the month of November! After talking to myself and to God which sometimes feels like the same thing and to my new husband, I decided I would complete the rest of my novel in a month even though it was February..Because after a while, nobody feels like listening to you talk about a book that you have yet to write…Shout out to my hairdresser who listened to the entire plot as she tightened up my locks…Nothing like a captive audience to get the creative juices flowing…

So I decided to start in February and by the beginning of March, I realized that I was a dunce with the pointy hat and erething for thinking that my imagination was creative enough to deliver 1, 667 words a day…which is what it would take to write a 50,000-word novel in a month…So I went to bed with my laptop one night hoping my promiscuity would produce a promise that I would be given the words I needed each day…But God stopped me from making a fool of myself and had me turn to the living Bible instead…I got this verse…

I want to suggest that you finish what you started to do a year ago, for you were not only the first to propose this idea, but the first to begin doing something about it. 2 Corinthians 8:10

And then I felt like He-Man (remember that ’80s cartoon superhero?) who would raise a sword in the air and declare, “By the Power of Grayskull, I HAVE THE POWER!” before demolishing his enemies…I guess in my case, I am She-Man and now I had the POWER OF GOD behind me and I could do all things through Christ who strengthened me including writing the rough draft of the book I started a year ago…Whose the corniest of them all? I AM! But I still have the power…

So this brings me back to the original words of this post…at 11:58 on Monday night, I couldn’t believe I was actually typing the final words of my rough draft…So instead of a month, it actually took me 6 weeks to finish a rough draft of a book I started writing last year…so that’s why it’s my modified NaNoWriMo challenge…And I’ve written way more than 50,000 words too but that is because I have written about four main characters (three single and one married) and two years and two months of their lives…

And now the fun begins…REVISING…y’all pray for me…because as you can see, it gets kinda crazy in this here head…

Any thoughts?

 

 

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18 thoughts on “This Novel That I’m Writing…My Modified NaNoWriMo Challenge…

  1. That is so awesome!! Thanks for sharing your journey. I think it takes ALL of those elements–God, platforms like Nanowrimo, writing group–to work through a great story. And it’s amazing how your characters continue to speak, whether you want them to or not. Good luck on revising as well :).

    • Thank you so much Lakeshia…Definitely, it takes everything 🙂 And thanks for the luck too…I need it…

  2. I am speechless. I mean, aside from being honored to have my photo in anything with He-Man, I am simply thrilled that God used me and my little workshop to help you stir up those people in your head. I’m so proud of you. I can’t believe you finished the first draft since November, especially with a new hubby on deck. 🙂 I really look forward to reading the story. I’m so psyched for you!!!

    • Yes, you never know God can use you, and He definitely used you to help me 🙂 I really appreciate you!!! And I know I’m crazy too…LOL…

  3. That is excited!! I tell people that the best thing to do is just to do it. Buckle down and make the decision to write it. You did it!! Revision for me is the hardest, but it’s necessary.
    Many Blessing!!

  4. Wow inspiring and encouraging thank you for sharing I will be doing the NaNoWriMo challenge starting 5:30am 4-4-14. Blessings to you on all your endeavors.
    Can I just add Rhonda McKnight rock she’s always very informative and on point I appreciate every nugget I can catch from such a great person and writer.

    • Wow, Sharon, I wish you blessings and perseverance!!! You can do it 🙂 And Rhonda is a great resource 🙂

  5. Well…I’m so absolutely proud of you Jackie!! Yeah..You don’t know me from Adam…but I’m soooooooooooo glad you wrote this! I’m excited for you as you get ready for the road ahead. I. Am. Ecstatic! One day…we’ll sit down for coffee and discuss it after I’ve read your book…lol..but for now…I’ll just say thank you for this post…it’s soooooooooooo needed!