Stardate, Late August 2014 – I’ve signed on with the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction contest. I’m not sure why. A good friend told me I should. I usually don’t do contests. This is either going to be fun, or it’s going to go down in flames. Either way, I have a cup of tea in hand and I’m ready. Bring it.
Stardate, Mid-September 2014 – Holy hell! People really liked my first story for NYC Midnight! And it got a relatively decent score! Wowza! I rock!!! And now I’m part of all these new Facebook groups… and meeting all these new people… and I joined a local critique group… and, hello, what’s this? NaNoWriMo? That sounds kind of cool!
Stardate, The End Of October 2014 – I’m ready. I have my novel outlined. It’s based off my first NYCMidnight flash piece. It’s a ghost story, and it’s going to ROCK! I worked on character back story. I developed the plot. I’ve outlined. I created a cover. I have friends linked in on NaNo. Let’s DO THIS!!
Stardate, The Very Next Day – And… it’s GO TIME! I’m sitting at my computer. I’m looking at my notes. I’m…. chewing on my lower lip. My fingers are moving. What the hell is coming out? Kessa St. James? Who is that? Why are we in Gig Harbor? We’re supposed to be in Phoenix… this isn’t a ghost story. This is that story that’s been kicking around in my head since I was 13 years old.
Today’s topic asks what was the biggest surprise in writing my novel. The response is: That I wrote THAT novel. I hadn’t outlined it, or planned it, or even given it more than a cursory thought. I’ve tried to write that story before, and it always came out corny.
All of a sudden, on Day One of NaNoWriMo, 2014, a new voice appeared in my head. The voice of Kessa St. James. She wasn’t the awkward teenage who believed in werewolves. She was a strong, independent and fiercely logical FBI agent. And she had a thing-or-two coming around the bend that would throw her for a complete loop.
That first day of November, last year, the entire story of Rising came to me in a flash. WHAM! Like a ton of bricks. And I wrote. I pounded out that novel to the tune of 2000 words per day… sometimes more.
I had given myself both the space and permission to write, and the floodgates opened. And it shocked the holy hell out of me.