I can’t take all the credit for writing 50,000 words in a month. It took discipline, perseverance, dedication and the ability to say no to unnecessary social outings. (Unnecessary?) Gloria has all those things and is very capable of exercising these wonderful talents when she puts her mind to it. Me – not really! She shoves me into a box when she means business and I’ll tell you, it’s suffocating. However, she needs me for this novel.
Between the two of us, we’ve been scribbling notes here and there, writing half chapters in notebooks and we thought it was well on until we signed up for NaNoWriMo2017. That’s when we realised two things;
- We weren’t as well on as we thought because when we gathered up our notes and bits of chapters, we had about 1,000 words! 49,000 to go just to win NaNo and about another 40,000 after that. Luckily it was all in the head – very mixed up but there nonetheless.
- We are both in conflict with this novel. I want more laughing moments in it and Glo wants all this heartbreak and pain and revenge…… shocking depressing!
Even though taking part in NaNo was exciting and fulfilling, there were a few times when the word count wasn’t as we hoped and the winner’s badge seemed like it was at the end of a rainbow.
At one point Glo looked like she was the oldest character in the book. Maud aged 88. Going around with wild fuzzy hair, the grey strands getting longer each day as they struggled to rid themselves of the clinging stains of Clariol Nice’n Easy. Each evening she sat huddled at the fire wrapped in the Galway shawl. When the laptop wasn’t on her lap, it was a book called “Are The Irish Different?” (Yes Glo, they sure are, which is why I pretend I’m from India)
During week 3 she let me out of my box to help with a sarcastic scene, and I immediately dragged her kicking and screaming into the shower. (I don’t lie.) If someone had called to the house unexpectedly, seriously, authorities may have got involved.
Two sisters, Rose and Nancy, are abandoned at a young age by their cruel mother shortly after their father dies. Their aunt takes them in and although she’s very strict, she looks after them as best she can. Their childhood affects both of them differently as the years pass by. As young adults, they experience love, pain, disappointment and regrets.
They have a friend called Kathleen, who I invented – me, Tasheenga – because she’s a bit of a laugh. And there’s a couple of other characters who might not stay. We’ll see how they get on!
Then there’s Nancy. Now she’s not as fortunate as Rose and her memories of her mother are not happy ones. Nancy has issues and low self-esteem and life is a dark sad place for her. I get to choose what decisions she makes! Although I haven’t decided on her fate just yet.
In the middle of writing one particular scene, I insisted that Rose and Benny were mad to have…..you know….. ‘it’. They wanted to do ‘it’ there and then. Well, Glo nearly had a heart attack and almost went to mass to apologise for contemplating such a thing. She growled at me saying it was a bit early on a Sunday morning to be thinking about things like that. A quick text to Mohotma & Saphirra for advice; Saphirra said ‘A kiss and a cuddle will do them rightly‘ and Mohotma said ‘Let them at it.‘
I think part of the problem is that the story is set in rural Ireland in the early 1950s and you just didn’t discuss such things. There was plenty of it going on because boy they had big families back in those days. And with Glo wearing that hairy shawl around the house and drinking Guinness instead of wine, she’s getting too much into character. (Eye roll)
I suggested we put the scene to one side and the amateurs that we are, we’ll do a bit of research on how to write a
sex love scene delicately and tastefully. Although I’ve got a feeling that I’ll be put back into the box when we revisit that particular chapter!
My Two Apostles
It was very exciting watching the word count rise as the days went on, keeping Mohotma Coatalay and Saphirra up to date with screenshots of our progress. With still a day and a half left, we validated our 50,000+ words and got the winner’s badge and certificate. Aw….the video at the end! Emotional!
At last, Glo and I have the first draft more or less completed. Yes, there’s so much more work to be done, revision, re-writes (stuff we don’t know about yet) but we are optimistic.
Mohotma Coatalay and Saphirra are happy to put up with my hangry episodes but just wait until they experience one of my writing frustration tantrums! If they still like me by the time I write ‘The End’ on the last page, then I’ll know that they’re my forever friends!