NaNoWriMo Progress

Sometimes I wonder what in the world convinced me that I could or even wanted to write. Yet, here I am at 4:43 in the morning drawn to my computer like a drippy nose to a Kleenex.

This is Allicks, my first husband’s and my first dog who inspired this story.

I originally wrote the book I’m working on now over 25 years ago during summer vacation when I taught fourth grade. The heroine is a ten-year old girl (5th grader) who is basically myself with good qualities added. She finds an abandoned puppy on her way home from school. Her dad hates dogs, and has previously forbidden her from having any pets. You see where this is going, obviously. She takes the puppy home and tries to convince her dad that the dog is worth keeping. What she is really trying to accomplish is to convince her dad, or maybe herself, that she, as well as the dog, is worth keeping. Meanwhile she has someone (or animal) she feels loves her, or more importantly maybe to whom she can outpour the love she has inside of her.

The problem with the original book basically is that although it has some great stories, it’s boring. That may be the problem with most of my writing actually, other than a few minor typos and grammatical errors. I read last night that the basic ingredient that is missing from most novelists’ first drafts is conflict.

Since the book gets its meat from my life there is plenty of conflict to draw from, but I find that I am totally a chicken. I always want the heroine, who is almost always a better rendition of myself to be seen in a good light. That’s not bad. I’ve learned that readers want their characters to be better than life, (I know I do.) so I guess that I’m good there. Where I am a chicken is I hate doing bad things to good characters. Not only that, if something awful does happen to a good character, I’m not sure how to solve the problem. Moreover they have to change, and I’m not sure how to make them do that!

In one scene of the book the heroine gets her first job – to watch her younger brother, who has an emotional or possibly mental problem, we don’t know exactly what yet, while her mom goes to the store. That sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? But Jake runs off ahead of her and a friend who dropped by the house. I hope you feel the sense of doom approaching here.

He heads down to the creek. Jenny (bossy older sister-me) tells him to stay away from the water. Of course, you know what he is going to do, and he gets in over his ankles in fast running water. I’ve rewritten this chapter at least twice. The most horrible thing I could do to this little boy is to have him be swept away by the creek. Or the heroine could end up in the drink, or her friend could die in the rescue process. Would you do something that drastic? I can’t. I was exhausted just getting him out in one piece, and of course the dog has to help because he’s worthless in the father’s eyes, and what can a dog who is terrified of water do anyway?

This chapter wasn’t even in my first book, and just so you know, it never happened in my life, which is why it probably wasn’t in my first book. Just so you know, I’m a little behind in my word count, and my plot just spun out of control, and we only have 18 days left.

As I write, I’m reading Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. I’m on Chapter Six – Plot. I have another blog, a couple actually, and I started a brief review of the book. I probably should finish it before I do my next review. I don’t know, maybe you don’t mind if I work with it step by step.

If you’d like to write to me or correct my grammar I’m at If you just want to spy on me you can follow me on FB, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn. (I actually check those.) If you want to ignore me, I’ll probably never know about it, but go ahead and do it. Otherwise press like on this page, leave me a comment, and make me smile.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? If so how are you doing? I hope well.

Author: Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

7 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Progress”

          1. No harm done. I haven’t taken many pictures here, a few last night. We ran errands the first day. Hal is pretty much blind, so people drive him places, but he is very active and we picked up a Chinese girl about 22 who is getting her license here. He is helping her to get it by letting her practice using his car. (and me). She drove for hours, and did better than I would have when I first started, and in a new country. She’s only been here 3 months, and even the signs are in English, and they are tiny and hard to read even for me. 🙂 She did great.

            Liked by 1 person

Your babbling is music to my ears. Please leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.