THE MONA LISA SISTERS
It’s been almost a month since I last posted. Then I spoke of the inspiration for my NaNoWriMo novel, The Mona Lisa Sisters.
In case you’ve forgotten, National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, is an annual event in which participants attempt to complete a 50,000-word novel in the month of November.
As I finalized my research prior to the start of NaNoWriMo, I began filling out Character, Minor Character, and Scene Cards. Introduced to these by Deborah “Jordan” Bernal, I find them invaluable.
Before I started at one minute after midnight, Friday, November 1, 2013, I had three characters, two minor characters, and ten scene cards arrayed in my work folder. When I finished at 5:00 p.m. November 21, 2013, I had twenty-four cards and 51156 words.
As a winner, I’m eligible for a happy face sticker, like this one:
I try to write two-thousand words a day, every day. Generally, I fail. NaNoWriMo forced me to meet or exceed that goal. Taking two days off, I still managed to average 2400 words a day.
Never having written a “Chick-Flic” story, I struggled with the lack of violence and expletives.
Back in October I gave my readers a hint, “There might even be a mysterious stranger lurking in the background.” I kept him hidden so far back that he could have been an afterthought. That is until I hit 30,000 words. In danger of running out of story line, I took a day off and pondered how to get another 20,000. Inspiration struck, as it often does, at 3:00 a.m.
I went back to Chapter 7, re-read it and inserted a new Chapter 8. The mysterious stranger now delivers in this and six additional chapters. I believe the changes enhance the story and help with character development.
It’s time to set The Mona Lisa Sisters aside and get back to A Tale of Robbers and Cops and Liberty.
A Tale of Robbers and Cops is the story of two illiterate Georgia teenage brothers. Brutalized on a chain gang, they commit a revenge murder locking them into a life of crime.
It’s been almost five months since I pitched Robbers to a publisher, and three since the publisher asked me to submit it for reading. I’m assuming the worst, so I will be rewriting once again.
Liberty is story about people, people who happen to be cops, gang bangers, civilians, and innocent by-standers. The gangs are violent and commit both random and orchestrated murders. The cops have flaws. The gang bangers, a few at least, have a good trait or two.
If you can get by the murders that occur in just about every chapter, it’s a fun read.
I’m jealous. I had to pass on participating this year and I miss the excitement and energy force generated by 300,000+ writers in the world churning out drafts of stories that one day may end up on the New York Times best seller lists. Congratulations on your amazing word count. You are a Great Writer!
Cliche Alert: Lots of irons in the fire. Good for you, George.
The waiting is tough, but the passing of three months without word from a publisher isn’t the death knell for a book. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to try to find it a different home while you are in limbo. I’ll be sending positive thoughts your way.