This year will mark NaNoWriMo number six. I don’t think, six years ago, that I thought I would still be doing this. But I don’t know what else I would be doing if I wasn’t doing NaNo.
NaNo is one of my favorite times of the year. November and December make up my two favorite months of the year and they just so happen come back to back. Now that it’s that time again (36 days!), I figured it might be time to go back, back, back in time! So let’s pull out all those old NaNos, six in total so far, and check out the opening paragraphs.
Opening paragraphs can be really important. They set the scene. They introduce characters, and they are your very first step into this new world. I wouldn’t say I’m awesome at them just yet, but there is still time, and I doubt anyone really is right out of the gate. But that’s what an opening paragraph is: it’s your start out of the gate and you don’t want to be the horse licking your behind while everyone else bolts out of there.
My very first NaNo and the longest original story I’ve ever written to this day –
The view outside the window hadn’t changed for the past three years. The rolling hill disappearing over a crest beyond, lined by swaying maple trees, and a fence that looked small from a distance but was really quite high being the only things visible out the small-paned window.
2008: The Cereal Song
The Cereal Song is available for purchase through createspace, amazon.com, and amazon kindle
There’s only one grocery store in town and it sits on the corner of Oak and Pine, bordered on either side by a liquor store and a strange little tourist shop that sells items that no one in their right mind would buy. There are no tourists to buy them anyway and how they stay in business is a mystery.
I wrote two novels this year, both over 50k words.
1. “General, they’ve brought in the prisoners; they’re being held in a nearby house awaiting your orders.”
Standing at the window, the general turned slowly on his heel, hands running down the silk of his vest thoughtfully, eyes falling on the messenger standing in the doorway, slightly nervous.
2. Austin stumbled in between the doorframe, rocking vicariously with the movement of the ship, seizing the frame to keep from cascading past. Scrambling up, he threw himself in the room to save himself as the ship rocked again.
This is the only NaNo that I did not finish. I still feel guilty sometimes.
The snow fell thick and fast outside the window, heavy white mounds piled in the front yard and on either side of the walk leading to the front steps. The darkened sky was lit only by the multi-colored strings of light threaded along the outlines of the houses across the street. A bright plastic reindeer, nose garishly red in the darkness, was planted across the street and as Jeremy watched, the nose blinked off, red fading into darkness.
2011: Chasing Sunset
Chasing Sunsets will hopefully be my second self-published novel, coming within the next few months.
Blake cracked open an eye, eyeing the sunlight streaming in the window with severe distaste. Instead of replying to his mother’s voice through the door, he pulled the covers over his head and burrowed in deeper. He was never coming out if he could help it.
Opening paragraphs set the stage. I haven’t quite gotten that far with this year’s NaNo, but I’m not supposed to start on that anyway. I’ve got my character names, though, and that’s one step in the right direction. This year, we’ll be saying hello to Sequoia, Ren, Kenai, and Birch. I hope this year, they do what I want. Hah.
What do you have planned for your NaNo this year?