The Strain

This year I’ve decided to join a bunch of crazy writers who spend the entire month of November writing over 1600 words a day to get a 50,000 word novel out in a 30-day period.  I have no illusions that I will actually get 50,000 words in 30-days.  After all, I have a full-time job, a hubby, two kids still at home, a dog (who demands two or more walks a day), two cats, yadda, yadda, yadda.  The list goes on and it sounds as though I’m already making excuses, but that’s not my style.  I generally forego sleep to get my writing in so I will, for sure, write everyday.  But my goal is a bit more modest:  write everyday for a month to jumpstart my novel, The Strain, and at the end of the 30 days see where I am with it.  I feel as though the entire story is just sitting on a shelf in the back of my brain, collecting a bit of dust, waiting to be downloaded to my computer.  I need to give it the quick escape route and NaNoWriMo seems to be the quickest route available.  So cheers to the organizers and away we go.

The working title of the novel is The Strain and the short synopsis goes something like this:

A pharmaceutical sales rep discovers that her company’s reverse-engineered vaccine touted as the gold standard in flu prevention doesn’t work.

Of course, it’s going to be a rough first run, a rougher than sandpaper draft, but I’m going to resist the internal editor, prop my discipline up with sandbags by the door, and keep writing for the whole of the month, not stopping to look around and not looking back until December 1 when I’ll pick through the remnants of thought, the fragments of plot, the illusory character analysis, and hopefully come up with a diamond in the rough amidst the cacophony of words and thoughts and deeds.

I’ll let you know how it all works out.  Or you can follow my progress here. 

And if you, too, are joining in this writing revelry, let me be the first to say, bon chance.

p.j.lazos 10.29.16

About Pam Lazos

writer, blogger, environmentally hopeful
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18 Responses to NaNoWriMo

  1. odell01 says:

    Trying to write a novel in thirty days must make your life a good deal more challenging. The closest I ever came was taking a thirty-day course for which the end result was far fewer than fifty thousand words. I just explored writing in my word processor every day for a month. It didn’t turn out all that was very good, but I got a few structural ideas how to proceed (especially where blogging is concerned). I never got beyond the stage of a hobby, but each year lately in my life has been more exciting come November thanks to NaNoWriMo. I do believe it would take a good deal of discipline to finish the novel. You never know–maybe next November!


    • pjlazos says:

      I love the challenge, but also the fact that it forces you not to edit your work and just get out as much as you can. It was like some of the writing exercises we used to do in our writing class where you just write for 15 or 20 minutes without stopping. It takes you places you wouldn’t go if you were consciously thinking about it. Thanks for stopping by!


  2. I love the “rougher than sandpaper” description of your NaNo draft 🙂 All the best with the challenge. I’m still on the fence as to whether I’m going to participate this year.


    • pjlazos says:

      Thanks so much, Ellen. You should do it. The worst that can happen is you get a jump start on whatever it is you’re thinking about. I’ve got a goal of writing every day. If I don’t make the word count, no worries. Good luck!


  3. What’s your userid on NaNoWriMo so we can find each other? Mine is ravena143.


  4. It sounds like you are doing it right, and for the right reasons.

    I’ve done NaNo 3 times. (The most harrowing time was in 2014, I think. I wrote the last 25,000 words in the last 5 days). So now I have three rough, unfinished drafts kicking around.

    I am not sure I’m going to do it again for a while. I don’t have a problem just sitting down and letting the words come, especially if I’m allowed to let them be bad. My inner editor/critic is namby-pamby and easily cowed. I need support and encouragement for the editing and rewriting process. And for giving the amorphous piles I generate during NaNo some real novel-like structure.

    What I’m thinking that I will do in November is equate one hour of rewriting/editing to 1000 words and go from there. Interested in being writing buddies?


    • pjlazos says:

      I would love to be writing buddies! Modesty aside, I’m actually a really good re-write editor because I see connections between things that aren’t so readily apparent to others which helps the flow of the story. Plus I love to work with other writers because the give and take invariably makes my writing better. Wit-woo — let’s do it!

      Liked by 1 person

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