I suppose about a quarter of the way finished that’s where. And that’s good because a quarter of the month is already gone. Just like that…poof! But don’t worry faithful readers who would rather hear about anything other than my word count (9238 currently, I’m just sayin’…) I won’t go on and on about NaNoWriMo today. There are so many other topics to cover! Right?
And suddenly my mind goes silent…birds start chirping, I hear the empty void of a hollow brain, filled only by the sweet sounds of my character’s voices and start to think, what would Donna write in a situation like this?
Donna McCarthy is a 42 year old widow who lives, works and blogs in Boston. She suffered a fairly painful past that included losing a child at age ten to a drowning incident which forced a wedge between herself and her husband where he became verbally abusive and she sat back and took it because she was so lost she felt there was nothing else for her to do. Ten years later she loses her husband suddenly but instead of withering into a puddle of goo she rises to the occasion and slowly begins to claim her life back over the next three years.
On the advice of her boss as well as her best friend, she ventures back into the world of dating. On the advice of her therapist she starts taking numerous random classes to discover just what she really enjoys in life. When Donna starts writing a blog to chronicle her foray back into the world of the living she discovers an entire community of people who share her feelings of loss and life. One man in particular, Jake, seems to be coasting right along her wavelength and she starts to fantasize what life might be like if they were together.
Only problem, he is in Arizona and she is in Boston. So they continue flirting mercilessly online for months and share in each other’s love woes until one day when Donna meets Doug. For the first time in years she feels like maybe there could be a guy out there in the real world. After all her botched attempts at meeting people online and the countless string of bad dates she has been a participant in over the years, Doug seems, dare she say it, normal.
But no matter how much fun they seem to have, Donna is always waiting for the other shoe to drop and she never allows herself to really get close to Doug. So why is Jake acting like a jealous boyfriend in every comment he makes on her blog? And what will Doug do when he discovers she has put their entire dating history and all its steamy details online for the whole world to read? Could Donna be pushing away the one man who really loves her to live in a fantasy that lives 3,000 miles away?
Or something like that.
In fact none of the development above is really set in stone right now except the character names and the potential for a love triangle. I might make Jake a liar and Donna finds out he’s really a 27 year old Accountant living in Vermont (but only after she really figures out that she loves Doug of course). I might make Doug run away when he discovers her blog. I might make Donna fly to Arizona for a week at a spa with her best friend and have Jake blow her off the whole time she’s there so we start to hate Jake (because we’re really going to need to hate him so we get why she’s with Doug). For a while I kicked around making Jake & Doug the same person which means Jake lied about his location and all but the way the characters were unfolding it just didn’t fit. I can’t decide if her mom is evil or not and I can’t decide if she keeps in touch with her former in-laws. Opening up a sister-in-law character could add the conflict this happily ever after story will need.
Because regardless of what happens within the story you and I both know she will live happily ever after. My characters always do because I like sunsets and people riding off into them. I like kisses that fade into the soft glow of a candle’s flame. I like tying things up that used to be a big old mess into a neat and tidy perfectly pressed bow of awesomeness. Call it the romantic in me.
The thing that really surprised me this week is (dare I say it out loud without hundreds of torch carrying NaNoWriMo participants hunting me down?) how easy it was to write. Last year’s was not bad, I hit my word count or above everyday and the characters definitely developed personalities and all that happy crap but this year I feel like they’re just...I don't know, I guess, for lack of a better description, real.
It is so hard to describe but I know the fellow writers around these parts will understand. I’m loving it, truly, because it means my writing is short and sweet bursts of really lengthy stuff that actually flows. It reads well, every character seems to have a very distinct voice and my count just keeps ticking up. I love NaNo10!
Okay that is all, don’t hate me. Please?