Hi everyone! This week the writer in me is feeling a little guilty. I totally meant to do NaNoWriMo, but student-me was applying for graduate school and teacher-me was busy planning fun Thanksgiving and Hanukkah activities, and somehow writer-me got pushed to the back of the drawer with all the old socks I’ve been looking for. I’m a bit sad that I’ve missed it (though I hear there is a Camp NaNoWriMo that happens in the summer? Maybe I’ll try to make a comeback during that).

Anyway, while I failed to follow through with my writing plans, I know that many of you worked very hard last month to create a multitude of varied and unique novels. With that in mind, today’s post from me will be brief. I’d rather step back and let all of you share with each other!

This week, please feel welcome to use the comments section of this post to share a brief (if possible!) description of your novel, as well as what inspired you to write it. I can’t wait to hear about all of your stories!

Cait Levin is the Community Manager at She Writes. You can read more of her blog (when she stops watching so much Dawson’s Creek and actually writes more of a blog) here.

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Tags: NaNoWriMo, writing

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Comment by Zetta Brown on December 11, 2013 at 10:21pm

@Caitlyn - I'll try to tell without giving too much away. LOL  It's a family saga (a trilogy) that spans from the mid 19th c to the present so that's the part historical/part contemporary bit. But something that happens in the past will be responsible for the paranormal bit, so there's gonna be a ghost story involved. :D

Comment by Nina Gaby on December 6, 2013 at 4:31am
I "won" a couple years ago...first draft of a novel which I continue to tweak. Had been inspired by Sara Gruen who did her first draft of "Water for Elephants" during the challenge. I keep resurrecting mine, thinking She Writes may be a great choice for both the novel and an anthology project that Brooke has consulted on. Kudos to you all for at least signing on....
Comment by Caitlyn Levin on December 5, 2013 at 5:37pm

Wow, such a variety already! @Zetta, part historical, part contemporary, part paranormal suspense? Tell me more!

Comment by Diane McElwain on December 5, 2013 at 4:55pm

I'm a Nanowrimo winner 2 years in a row.  Both times I wrote historical fiction.  My story this year was based on early NYS history of a group of people who settled west of Cooperstown.  I'm still working on the book, and it's really rough!

There is such a great feeling being able to finish something like that in 30 days. (Actually, I met my limit at 29 days?  I would have never guessed I could do it until I tried!

Comment by Zetta Brown on December 5, 2013 at 2:38pm

Hey, Caitlyn, don't feel bad. This was my 2nd attempt at NaNo and I just let go and allowed myself to get carried away. Besides, you don't have to wait until summer or next November, you can NaNo at any time. That's what I plan to do to keep the habit of writing every day.

But in answer to your question, my story is part historical and part contemporary. It's a family saga that will include paranormal suspense.

Comment by Liz Gelb-O'Connor on December 5, 2013 at 1:59pm
Cait, my contemporary romance novel, Caught Up In Raine, is about a widowed forty-four year old romance writer plagued by loss who learns from her twenty-four year old cover model that love has less to do with age and more to do with letting go.
Comment by Mohana Rajakumar on December 5, 2013 at 1:59pm

I hear ya Caitlin. Only made it 13000 words myself but a very strong crack at the first act or 1/3. And beginnings are very important! This week I have beta readers checking it out (I'm in the room as they're reading) and their questions remind me how much of a first draft this truly is...

Comment by Patricia Robertson on December 5, 2013 at 12:50pm

My novel, Dancing on a High Wire, is about three women who are knocked off balance by life circumstances and how they cope with this. One is a college student whose fiancé breaks off their engagement saying he is gay. Another a wife, mother and ballet instructor finds out she has breast cancer while pregnant with her third child. Third is a  woman in her fifties who is raising her grandsons and loses her job of twenty-five years. Inspired by people I know who have managed through such circumstances and worse.

Comment by Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw on December 5, 2013 at 6:26am

"Ancient imperative" is what I meant to say... damn cold meds have my head foggier than San Francisco Bay... :p

Comment by Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw on December 4, 2013 at 10:03pm

My 2013 NaNoWriMo novel is tentatively titled - Justice Is Your Only Ambition.  The title is taken from my main character's mentor's dying last words.

"Left an orphan after a Russian mobster tortures and kills her family, Nikki is taken in and raised by an old man and his wife. When Nikki turns fifteen, the old man teaches her his craft... assassin.  She has her first kill at sixteen and by age 21 has 17 hits under her belt.

Nikki chooses her clients; they don't choose her.  And all the while, she bides her time... waiting for the man responsible for torturing and killing her family.

He will be her last kill."

I write noir fiction.... bad people doing bad things to other bad people and to good people as well; and,good people dispensing justice in an unjust world.

I have always wanted to do a female hitwoman... take a profession that is predominantly male and have my character 'own it'.  But, women, by and large, are nurturers, not warriors - following that ancient prerogative hardwired in the female DNA - so I needed a back story to explain how a gentle Russian girl could turn to such a vocation.  When the back story finally came to me, I sat on it for several months, waiting for this year's competition.

I am a lesbian and feminist, so most of my stories have a strong female character, an extremely goal-oriented woman with a sense of justice that often steps outside of man's laws, because what is right isn't always within the law... that is how true justice often works.  My stories are also influenced by a dark period in my life (the subject of my memoir) when I was barely out of my teens.  I've also drawn on that time when writing this year's novel.

I have written a fair amount of flash fiction, been published in six anthologies and am currently at work on my memoir (third draft) and my first fiction novel (second draft), both 'born' out of previous year's NaNoWriMo competitions. 

By 'brief' you meant paragraphs and paragraphs, right?  I'll stop.  Lol!

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