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Say Hello to My NaNoWriMo Novel: “In Shambles”

Posted Nov 02 2012 3:42pm

So far I’ve managed to write 2,285 of my 50,000 word novel for NaNoWriMo. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m wicked excited about this book because I actually have a plot (with an ending!), character sketches and even a list of key scenes I want to appear throughout the novel. I love the characters I’m supposed to love and I already despise the characters I’m supposed to hate.

I’m in a good place with this novel and now the biggest task is simply making it to that 50,000-word finish line by midnight on November 30th. I haven’t yet clocked in my 1700 words for today (my daily target) but I’m hoping to get a solid hour of writing done tonight before bed.

So, let me introduce you to my novel, the other baby I’ve got right now.

Here’s my hook:

Jane* just got laid off, found out she’s pregnant, discovered her husband in bed with her best friend, it’s the advent of the zombie apocalypse – and it’s not even 10 o’clock in the morning. Could this day get ANY worse?

(I have not yet firmly decided on character names yet. For all intents and purposes, we’re just going to keep referring to our protagonist as Jane until I find a better name. “Find and Replace” is my friend.)

My characters include Jane, our plucky (and pregnant) protagonist; Peter, her unfaithful husband; Maggie, Jane’s bumbling best friend; and Alain, the enigmatic French Canadian sculptor. It will take place in Boston’s Financial District; an as-yet-to-be-determined Bostonian suburb; Burlington, Vermont; the US/Canadian border crossing in St. Albans; and Montreal-ish parts of Canada.

I haven’t yet figured out if my zombies will be shamblers (think Night of the Living Dead), runners (think 28 Days Later) or a mix of the two. And I haven’t decided just how deep we’re going to get into the whole “how did this particular zombie apocalypse begin” thing. If I’m desperate to meet my word count, expect the pseudo-science to start flowing like water.

Here’s my teaser excerpt I wrote to get myself psyched:

The zombie shuffled toward them, faster now, his flannel shirt torn and ragged. He opened his rotting mouth and hissed out only one word: “Cerveuuuuuux….”

Peter looked at Jane, confused. “What? What’s it saying?”

“I think it’s saying brains… in French,” she replied. She picked up the baseball bat and squarely cut off the zombie mid-groan as the bat made contact with its cheek with a loud, gelatinous crack.

“Fucking Canucks,” she muttered under her breath.

Canadian readers: I mean no disrespect! It’s all in good zombie fun. And here’s a lil teaser from the first chapter:

The October air sent Jane shivering as she stood on her front stoop, locking up the house. Probably should have grabbed a coat, she thought as she locked the front door. She could feel the bolt get stuck in the lock. “The joys of owning a historic home,” she muttered under her breath, fumbling to turn the lock fully with her key. She could feel the key at the point it was ready to break or bend so she relented.

Good enough.

As she turned, she jumped when she saw their neighbor Roger across from her driveway, standing in the middle of his driveway staring at her.

“Jesus! Roger, you scared the shit out of me.”

Roger didn’t respond. He only stood there in a striped robe, briefs and socks. His face looked slack, his eyes half closed, his hair disheveled. He didn’t move.

Jane had seen this before.

Boy howdy I can’t wait to work on this some more tonight!

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