Although it’s been over a month so far, I reached day 14 today. On July 6 I wrote a blog about my purchase of Sarah Domet’s book ’90 Days to Your Novel’. Domet’s book makes the promise to help an author write the first draft of their novel in 90 days. It’s taken me about 50 days to reach the 14th assignment. This assignment is the first assignment that will go directly into the creation of my book. Write 20 different first lines. I’ve got my 20 lines and some sound better than others.
Reviewing the First 13 Days
I’ll be the first to say that my daily routine normally does not allow me the chance to write for a minimum of 2 hours. 8 hours at work, 2 hours travel time per day as well a the day-to-day chores of life takes away from writing time. Ms. Domet tells the reader right up front that they need to find at least 2 hours a day if the writer wants to stick with the 90 time line. I’m okay with going a little slower, I’ll still get there. When I sat down in July and started the first assignment I didn’t know what my novel was going to be about. I didn’t know who the characters were going to be. All I knew was it was time to sit down and write my novel. I’ve been writing stories since high school, but only for my own enjoyment. Two years ago, I joined the Canadian Authors Association, which helped me realize that I wanted write. In 2010 my first short story was published in their anthology book ‘Gathered Streams’. It wasn’t great writing, but it made the book. It was a very proud moment for me and I’ve read the story a number of times.
So back to the 90 days; I started writing character profiles, building background stories, creating possible plot points. I quickly started to develop a fantasy story. I’ve always enjoyed reading fantasy books such as those from the late Robert Jordan, R. A. Salvatore and George R. R. Martin.
Back in 2008 I started writing a short story about monks and a runaway thief. The story was never plotted out and it came to a sudden halt on page 89. I thought it was a great story and just needed a little tender, love and care. Ms. Domet’s book was the TLC my story needed. I started focusing the assignments on my story, which was named The Chronicles of Stroversai. I started to develop the characters. I re-read the original 89 pages and wrote out some of the history notes that I had mentioned in 2008. I quickly found that the main character, a monk name Olan Ijessel, had no real history. There was nothing to support the character’s actions. His ‘buddy’, Tanner was starting to have his history developed towards page 80, but at least he had a past. The wandering Thief, Marie, didn’t even have a last name. But she had a very detailed history. In my new version of the story, I made Marie Elynngrymm the lead character of the story. The story was about her choices and her life. Olan and Tanner both became travel companions.
The original story opened with Olan waking up in the forest, rolling up his bedroll and picking dragonberries. Everything I’ve read in the past three years, including Ms. Domet’s book, says that a story should open with a bang. As I mentioned, assignement 14 allowed me to write the first sentence of the story. I wrote 21 first lines that packed a punch.
Marie awoke with a sword held to her neck.
With the saddlebag over her shoulder Marie struggled to keep running.
Although I haven’t decided on the opening line, I know the opening scene will detail Marie’s escape from Dovern with a stolen saddlebag over her shoulder. Olan’s introduction will still appear in the book because it is a well written scene, however it might be in Chapter 2 or even 3. Time will tell.
Working towards Day 20
Now that the my 90 days have lead to the beginning of my novel I have a feeling I might be writing a lot more often. I’ll provide an update when I reach day 20. I expect tat should be some time during first week of September.
Get writing and get it written,