Birth of a Novel Week 4

You might have noticed that the “Nano” is missing from my Birth of a Novel Pic. For the first time in the four years since learning about Nanowrimo, I’m not trying to “win”.

It’s kind of weird. I could still pull it off, but for once I don’t care. It’s not like cranking out 50,000 words in a month guarantees you a publishing contract. No, it’s just the start of many months of hard work.

The last nine months were revision mode for Sendek, and last week I realized that I’m tired. I need some non-writing time to recharge my batteries. Dream some more. Live some life. Unpack some personal baggage that’s been accumulating. (Ooo! I forgot to mention that as part of the “living”, I lasted about 15 seconds on a mechanical bull Saturday night! Sadly, I tried it right as they were closing, so I only got one try. And my old body is sore today!)

I’m not quitting the novel, but I’m back to writing when I can. No pressure. Just enjoyment. 

Current word count: 27,412
That’s only 1,857 words more than a week ago, and I’m good with that.

Yeah, I know, I know. I’m an ML, part of the job description is that I hit 50K. All year long I look forward to Nano and do a pretty good job cheer-leading the cause.

But, I’m tired.

And, I love my story idea.

That means I’m willing to not “win” Nano, take a break, and then continue writing something that will be worth reading.

Snippet: I do have another snippet to share with you. There is still a lot of telling, but it’s a first draft so don’t stone me yet. 🙂 Granger is the guy that kidnapped her, arch enemy of the dreamy Carter Frey.

Granger summoned me before I got enough sleep. Breakfast was not offered, although I caught the lingering aroma of sausage and bacon as I walked through the halls of the castle. I no longer felt hungry. Just hollow. I wish that had been my only worry.

He waited for me outside in a garden plot surrounded by low stone walls. The earth was tilled and mist rose off the warm surface into the cooler air.

“Good morning Miss Killian. Let’s begin.” Granger held his hand out.

Not knowing what else to do, I held mine out, palm up. Several tiny somethings clattered into my open palm. Granger’s hand pulled away revealing the brown seeds.

I looked at Granger. “What am I supposed to do with these?”

“Make them grow.”

My test was to see how much I knew about gardening? Piece of cake. Growing things was one of my few natural talents. I didn’t see any tools, but the soil looked loose enough to work with my hands. After sinking to my knees, I pressed a hole in the dirt with my finger and dropped a seed in. I repeated the process with all ten seeds before brushing the dirt into the holes.

“Do you have any water?” I looked up at Granger, shielding my eyes with my dirty hands.

“Tap into the magic of creation and make the flowers grow.”

“You mean from seed to plant in a minute? That’s impossible.”

Granger raised his eyebrows, then bent and placed his hand over the first seed. A shoot of green popped out of the dirt. As Granger lifted his hand higher, the stem grew upward. Tiny leaves unfurled and wiggled as they grew larger. Stems and leaves multiplied and thickened until a delicate bouquet burst into being.

Each flower was the size of a quarter and made up of twenty or so tiny blossoms, orange on the outside with a circle of yellow blossoms surrounding tiny orange stamen. The lacy button smelled like sweaty citrus. My brain couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing. All it could latch onto was the curious fact that such a beautiful flower could smell so bad.

“Now, you do it.” Granger pointed to the other seeds.

“I can’t.” Was he serious?

“Carter thinks you can. Do it.”

“How? What do I do?”

“Focus on the seed and tell it to grow.”

“This is crazy.” I bent down and held my hand over the next seed, imitating Granger.
I closed my eyes and tried to imagine the seed under the dirt. All I could see was the back of my eyelids.

Grow stupid seed.

I peeked through one eye and wiggled my fingers in case that would help. Nothing.

“How disappointing. Perhaps we need to find the right motivation. Bring some tomato seeds.”
He flicked his hand and a servant ran toward a shed at the back of the gardens.

I sighed and tried again, “You have the wrong girl. It’s not going to matter what kind of seeds you bring me. I can’t make them grow.”

“You won’t eat until you make something grow.”

“You can’t do that! I’m not who you think I am. I’ll never be able to do what you want me to do.”

“I wonder if Carter will miss you? Probably not.” He walked around me in a slow circle. “He must know I have you by now, and he hasn’t even sent a messenger to discuss an exchange. Maybe I was wrong about you.”

My heart fluttered and sank. What if Carter didn’t care? I looked away from Granger and chewed on my lip. I chose to believe Carter was looking for me.

The servant rushed over the dark earth with a cup of seeds, which he held out to me.

Granger waved him toward me, “She has three hours to make them grow. Call me if she succeeds. If she fails, lock her back up.”

Without waiting for an answer he strode back to the castle.

Don’t forget to visit the other Blog Chain participants this week. I’m a day early, so give them a bit o’time. 😉
Angela H.
Anna M.
Brooke Busse
Charity Bradford
Elizabeth Davis
Elizabeth Poole
Fida Islaih
Jen McConnel
Lena Hoppe
Mia Hayson
Miranda Hardy
Nyxie Moon
Tessa C


About charitybradford

Science fiction and fantasy writer and blogger. My first novel is now available--The Magic Wakes (WiDo Publishing, 2013)

Posted on November 21, 2011, in Birth of a Novel, Blog Chain, Faerie Wings, Nanowrimo, Personal Journaling, story bits, Weekly Goals, Writing Lessons. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. You know what you're tring to accomplish. That's more important than the word count.And you lasted longer on the bull than I would!

  2. Alex, All my teen students were watching so I had to at least try and stay on. My legs are actually bruised from holding on! But it was fun!

  3. Good on you for slowing down, Charity. The last thing you want to do is burn yourself out and not be able to write for months – that happened to me last year. It was more work-related burn-out than writing burn-out, but it still stopped me from writing (and doing most other things too!). And I enjoyed your excerpt. Particularly the description of the plant growing – very vivid. 🙂

  4. Charity, you're a win in my book anyway. I couldn't cut the win, either. I've realized that Novemember is not a very good novel writing month for me. lol

  5. Um. Was the mechanical bull active at the time you were sitting on it? LOLGood excerpt. Sometimes a writer must move onto other things. Life. Family. Mechanical Bulls.Keep growing your other seedling, Fairie Wings.

  6. Thanks Cally, burn out seems to be running through the blogosphere and I decided to head it off. I actually wrote another scene today, so Yay me!Miranda, you're a win in my book too. November is crazy, but hey we have more now than we did Nov 1st.Huntress I sort of wish it hadn't been active. Now I know why rodeo riders wear thick leather gloves. Rope burns hurt!

  7. Oh well. Nano or not…it's the quality that counts…not the speed.

  8. You totally know how to live. Mechanical bull? I'm not sure I'd even be able to climb on one they're so tall and shiny and goodness me.I think you're winning anyway. To me it's always been about being happy and inspired with your writing. And sometimes you just have to step back for a moment to find the sparks again.<3

  9. What a great and postitive attitude to have with NaNoWriMo. And I love that snippet, though I pity the poort girl 🙂

  10. Wow! Every time I read something from you, I get more and more intrigued by the story! I really hope that when you're done with this novel you will edit it and work hard to publish, this is an awesome book! I want to read more!I agree with everyone here, time to live is more important than NaNo. Word count smer count =p If you love your story to much to rush it, take all the time you need to get it right, that just means less editing later, and that's what really counts, because editing takes forever!

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