Well, here we are again closing in on November and another National Novel (NaNo) Writing Month (WriMo). This is when normally rational authors go completely stupid and attempt to write a novel of 50,000 words or more in 30 days. Yeah… it’s a pretty damn dumb thing to do but everyone needs to show their professional idiocy every once in a while.
It’s been a few years since I approached NaNo with a new project in mind. For the last four years, I’ve gone into NaNo with a project already in progress or as a jump start to a book that would take several months to write. The last time I did this as a standalone start-to-finish project was to write Saving Emily in November 2011. I wrote the entire basic draft of that novel in the 30-day window. It took a couple months of rewrites and edits to be ready for publication, but the basic book was accomplished in November.
When I got up this morning, I had no intent to participate in NaNo. I have two books in beta and edit and Blood Link VIII in progress. Truth be told, I also had no standalone in mind. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Seriously, not a clue. I lamented that fact and in the course of a conversation, I decided a walk and a nap were in order. I took the walk and didn’t come up with anything, but when I stretched out for the nap, I closed my eyes and wished I was still on the gulf coast and taking a walk at the surf’s edge.
Just that quick, there it was. I knew where the book would be set and I saw the two people involved. I got up and ran for my laptop. Within an hour, I’d worked out the premise and I have the basic story.
Unnamed NaNo Novel – 2016
Lisa Piper works from home. She ghost writes autobiographies for military people and edits novels. She prefers suspense, but seems to be stuck with a lot of romance lately. That’s okay, it all pays the bills even if it leaves her feeling like a bit of a failure in her personal life. She’s divorced, and though she hates her ex, an abusive drunken former deputy sheriff, she’s not a man-hater in general. She’s stopped looking though and wants nothing more than to be left alone. Her ex-husband Clint is out of prison and not a happy camper. She’s not hiding but she’s worried. He’s crazy violent and hates her for putting him in prison She’s a former weapons instructor for the county and struggles with sleeping through the night. She’s not able to move on. She also doesn’t know how the hell she’s become almost 50 years old. She has one son in the military – typical boy child who calls every couple of weeks if he thinks of it. She’s a solid, hard shell over a pretty soft interior.
Henry Allen (Skip) Green is a walking disaster. He’s a retired Army Master Sergeant who spent his life in Special Forces. He’s had way too many tours, plus a butt load of covert work in South America. He’s lean, mean, covered with scars, and at a loss about what to do now. He’s been clean of opiates for almost a year, but he’s struggling with pain from some damage from his last trip into S.A. He’s pretty sure his active days in the field are over now and he’s going to be relegated to planning and logistics. That’s great money, but not exactly how he saw his life. Skip is staying at his friends place for a couple weeks while he rehabs. He’s mulling an offer from one of the “learn tactics” schools that his old friend runs. He’s divorced with a boy and a girl in their 20s. They check-in but everyone is doing their own thing, and he doesn’t want to intrude. They get along, but he was an absentee Dad and his ex made sure the kids knew it.
The author of the book she’s editing told secrets and he’s been murdered. Someone wants that manuscript back. They are willing to kill to get it. She has it both in hard copy and on disc. Clint is also back and she’s pretty sure he’s stalking her, but she can’t prove it and doesn’t want to be the woman who cries wolf. It’s going to get bad and bloody, but Skip knows how to manage that kind of problem.
Lisa Ann Jackson Piper, 48 (12 Jun 1968), blondish, pony-tail, blue/grey eyes, 5-6, 135 pounds, athletic, energetic, coffee, wine, independent, resilient.
Henry Allen “Skip” Green, 51 (14 Jan 1965), dark hair going gray, brown eyes, 5’-11”, 200 pounds, rangy, kind of moody, coffee, laying off the hard stuff, battle scarred, weary, lonely.
Now to get the plot and chapter chart ready so I can figure out what happens when. C’mon, November. I’m ready.