Monday was the last day of NaNoWriMo. I had yet to reach the half-way mark of the challenge. I donned my WRITER t-shirt. I was determined to make last ditch effort to increase my word count - no matter whether I officially 'won' or not. And that is what the challenge was really about. NaNo is not just about aiming for a high, sometimes impossible, word count (I really only had 19 days of writing time this month due to ill-health, family commitments and an opportunity to sell books and meet readers). It is about getting off my butt (well, when at my standing desk at least), putting pen to paper and getting down that first draft.
If I have an empty page, I have nothing to edit.
Looking back, I may have only achieved just under 20,000 words this round of NaNo - but I have more than half the first draft of my novella, Eye of the Beholder. I have rough plots for the accompanying short stories. Viola is set for some interesting adventures. Eye of the Beholder has a plot, a determined heroine, a scheming protagonist and a loyal friend. It has mummies and curses, and the threat of the Asylum hovering over our characters.
Here's a hint of last month's work. Our story opens...
EYE OF THE BEHOLDER (c) 2015 Karen J Carlisle
The grinding of the gate set Professor Clarke’s teeth on edge. The iron bars rattled as it slammed shut and encased them in gloom. Far off cries and screechings echoed through the empty hallway.
Keys chinked at the Warden’s hip as they trudged further into the bowels of Bedlam, leaving the sane world behind them. The stench of sweat and urine gripped/tugged/ clawed at his nostrils as they passed heavily bound doors with large locks and small barred windows.
Intermittent moaning, clawing, hissing greeted them. Thuds rattled the hinges to herald their passing.
The way ahead was barred and locked. The Warden paused.
Clarke’s hands trembled. He had not set foot in Bedlam since...
He clenched his fingers and straightened his shoulders. It was louder than he remembered.
“Are you certain?” asked the Warden.
Clarke closed his eyes and relaxed his fingers. He was a man of science, of facts. He opened his eyes and nodded.
Beyond the portal lay rows of barred cells, each with its own litany of fetors, spectacles and disquiet. Clarke stared at the back of the Warden’s head. It bobbed along the corridor then turned and jerked toward one of the cells.
(This is a first draft and subject to rewrites, edits and re-ordering).