NaNoWriMo 2018 Announcement

Hello friends! I am so excited to announce that, after YEARS of wanting to try NaNoWriMo, I am FINALLY doing it this year!!!

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Bilbo Baggins quote from The Return of the King film

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a challenge to write 50,000 words of a single writing project in one month, from November 1 through November 30. And I think it’s just the jump-start I need to begin a draft of my novel-in-progress, The Edge of the Sword! (Check out my previous post about choosing this concept as my novel-in-progress.)

I am so excited and terrified about attempting this, but I’ve felt for weeks now that this is where God is leading me. I can’t wait to see where He takes this novel!

During the last few months, as I worked on worldbuilding for The Edge of the Sword, I wanted to get all the planning done, every detail neatly in place, before beginning to write a draft. That didn’t exactly happen. While I did get a LOT of planning done, I didn’t even come close to getting it ALL planned. And you know what? That’s okay.

I think God has been using this process to teach me to let go, to learn to walk with Him step by step. My natural tendency is to try to force everything into place on my own (in writing and in the rest of life). Gradually He showed me that, while some aspects of this novel definitely needed to be planned, others could be saved for a later time. I didn’t have to do it all. I can always go back and fill in the worldbuilding gaps during revisions.

I feel a strange combination of “ready” and “not ready” as I plunge into NaNoWriMo, but I think that’s how every adventure starts. 😉

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On the eve of NaNoWriMo, I took index cards that I’d used to write down short summaries of events in my novel’s plot and taped them to the back of my door. This was SUPER helpful for figuring out the chapter progression, point-of-view changes, which events should be in scene vs. in summary, and so on.

I had put on some background music while I worked on this storyboard (er, story-door?) and when I taped up the last index card and stood back to examine my work, the music theme from The Lord of the Rings films started playing. I’d call that an auspicious beginning!

These index cards are plenty to get me started, but only cover about half of the book (or less), so I will probably need a bigger door eventually. 😉

I also updated my planning notes and got them as organized as possible so that I can easily reference them while writing!

And now…the moment you’ve been waiting for…(maybe)…here is my current synopsis for The Edge of the Sword:

War is coming. Magic has stopped working. And the gods do nothing to help.

Two years ago, Leona and the other people of Kalaros lost the ability to watercraft. Without their magic, the nation has slipped toward collapse. Now their allies have fallen before the military onslaught of the Gargian Empire, and a prophet declares Kalaros will face war—the same prophet who foretold watercraft’s disappearance.

As Leona’s country is invaded and her world is torn to pieces, she realizes the gods she’s always served are nothing but lies. Although the prophet’s God seems terribly real, how can she trust him after all the misery he’s caused her?

Faced with enemy armies, assassins, and a birthright she never wanted, Leona flees for her life, desperate to escape Kalaros before it’s too late. But what if her true destiny awaits within the chaos she’s left behind? And if so…is her destiny worth her life?

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