It’s the first of November. Today we’re celebrating All Saints Day. Today we’re also starting our NaNoWriMo novels. There is a sense of anticipation in the air. But before I dive head first into the imaginary world of my novel, I want to write a quick post.
I had announced I was going to write a long blog post as my novel. Of course, it would really have been lots of different blog stories joined together in one document. Who’d ever read a 50 000 word blog post? My mind boggles at the thought.
So what happened to my blog post novel plan?
The other day I pulled out last year’s NaNoWriMo novel. I started to read it. The girls came along and said, “Can you read some of it to us please?” So I did. And they liked it. I decided, with a bit of editing, I might actually make something of the draft manuscript I wrote last November.
A bit of editing? Editing is my problem. I always think I’ll get around to editing ‘one day’ and in the meantime I just keep on writing blog posts. Then I had an idea. What if I post my novel on my blog as I edit it? I could edit and blog at the same time.
The novel is a children’s story. It’s called The Angels of Gum Tree Road. It is actually a sequel to another novel I wrote a few years ago called The Angels of Abbey Creek. Each chapter in the novel is an individual story that also contributes to an overall larger story. So far I have edited three chapters and posted them on my Sue Elvis Writes blog. (I’d love to share my novel with you if you’d like to hop over and take a look.)
Well, after reacquainting myself with my fictional family, and receiving some positive feedback about my posted stories, I have decided to write another volume of stories about the Angel family. This one will be called The Angels of Convict Way. In a few minutes’ time I plan to type the very first words of my next NaNoWriMo novel.
But that wasn’t what I wanted to write about in this post. What I really wanted to share was a couple of things I observed when I read out my novel to my daughters.
When I came to the end of my first story I could see the delight in my girls’ eyes. “That’s a wonderful story, Mum!” And I felt all warm inside. I felt so encouraged. Now I must finish editing my book, not because I want to be a famous author, but because I want to share it with my children.
Encouragement? It’s a powerful motivator. Sometimes my children ask me to listen to their novels. It can be hard breaking away from whatever I’m doing to give them my full attention, but that’s exactly what I feel I need to do if I want to encourage them.
When I finished reading my story, Sophie said, “Do you remember my Bean family novel?” I did. She was working on it a few months ago. I smiled when she read it out to me. It sounded very much like one of my stories. “I think I’ll get it out and edit it. Maybe I’ll delete the first couple of chapters and get straight into the action. What do you think?” What did I think? I think that children notice everything their mothers do and are like my kids to do something, then I should be willing to do it first.
Not that I’m not willing to write. Writing is a passion. It’s a family passion. For the next few weeks we are all going to be indulging our interest of writing. We’re going to be talking novelling every moment we can. We’ll be chatting in the same language with people who understand. It’s going to be great. As long as I actually get started.
The most difficult part of novel writing is typing the first sentence. Perhaps I should go and check on the girls before I do that. I could see if they’ve written their first few words. But before I do that… it’s almost 10 o’clock. We always have coffee at this time of morning. Time to fill the kettle. And then I’m diving head first into my novel. Definitely.
Perhaps that first sentence won’t be difficult after all. I’ll just write something like…
It is the feast day of Mary, Mother of God. It is also New Year’s Day. The Angel family have just returned from early Mass. Mum and Dad and the children are sitting around the table eating a late breakfast.
Those words worked well before. That’s how I started my last two novels. Why shouldn’t I use them again? But where will I go from there? I have no idea. But that’s okay. That’s all part of the fun.
“Anyone started their novels yet?” I yell. It seems they have.
What about you? There’s still time. Why don’t you join us on a novel writing adventure?