Flash Friday: NaNoWriMo Update

It’s that time of year again. Today is Day 4 of another exciting season of NaNoWriMo. For those unfamiliar, National Novel Writing Month represents the one month out of the year where authors throw caution to the wind, break all the rules of writing, ignore their inner editors and just write to get the words down. The goal? 50,000 words, 30 days, 1 novel. Will it produce the next great American novel? Not necessarily, but who knows? Stranger things have happened. As an added bonus it gets all the uppity-ups and muckety-mucks of the writing and publishing world in a tizzy. But then these days so do shiny vampires, kid wizards and zombies.

For me it is an exercise in reckless literary abandon and a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Yes there are stumbling blocks, but more often than not, those blocks are followed by moments of brilliance that make me smile and push me forward. This season, my stumbling block hit me right out of the gate at 98 words when I accidentally killed off my main character. (I think she was trying to tell me something.) Fortunately, Day 2 delivered more caffeine and new inspiration. So here is my Flash Friday synopsis of the work in progress:

After killing off my main character within the first 98 words of what was to be a grim post apocolyptic piece, I changed directions and have begun writing what appears to be a young adult novel with a hint of a magical/fantasy element that has not yet been fully revealed to me. As I progress beyond the first 3000 words I am sure much will change but here is where we are now:

It began with a leaf blowing on the wind and landing on the windowsill of an unknown girl who introduced herself to me as one Miss Emilee Penderhaven the great, great granddaughter of Adolphus Penderhaven founder of the Penderhaven School for Unwanted Boys and Girls and author of Penderhaven Tales, a collection of dark bedtime stories read to very bad children. Emilee is a student of science who has both feet firmly planted on the ground, except when she is falling out windows or tripping up stairs. When a peculiar new professor arrives on campus, Emilee finds herself with a schedule change that takes her from the stainless steel, glass enclosed laboratories of the Penderhaven Science Department and lands her in the rich, dark, mysterious passageways of Penderhaven Hall, a castle like structure which houses the English Department and more than a few family secrets. Above the arched entrance of Penderhaven Hall Emilee encounters the Latin phrase, “ALIS GRAVE NIL, Nothing too heavy for those who have wings.” Where that will take her only the pen knows.

For those of you participating in NaNoWrimo this month, good luck to you!


About Susan Warren Utley

Susan Warren Utley is a wife and mother living and writing in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her stories are inspired by the unexpected twists and turns of real life and by her muse, a feisty Jack Russell Terrier who occasionally answers to the name of Lucy. View all posts by Susan Warren Utley

2 responses to “Flash Friday: NaNoWriMo Update

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