Last night’s NanoWrimo Marathon

The word skills and bunting against student holding book
The word skills and bunting against student holding book

I sat down to write at eleven minutes after midnight and opened Scrivener.  I clicked on a blank template in Scrivener I created from multiple sources and insights. I opened “Opening Scene”: a blank (digital software) page appended with (digital software) “index card” with “reminders” for myself of what the “opening scene” should accomplish. I was using, in part, the 15 Beats Blake Snyder uses to teach screenplay writing in his Save the Cat books. But really, “story is story,” and the “beats” make sure you don’t miss a part of the “story”.

How the story is typed, written or formatted depends on the purpose and medium-novel, movie, play, etc. But before anyone can write anything they have to know the parts of a story-any story.

I write novels.

The note I have on the digital index “card” in Scrivener for “Opening Scene”: that this scene’s setting and all the props should set the “tone” for the story. Also, remember to add sounds, and the POV character’s reactions to the setting-any old setting is not a good plan. Plus the “last” scene should be the opposite of the “opening” scene.

I had no idea what I was going to write. So none of the notes to myself on the digital, Scrivener index Card were of any help.

I decided not to use the outlined trilogies for multiple reasons-they rock-but I’m not in that “sweet place” where I cheer for my characters and cry and argue their “cases” and they are all in their proper story role. That doesn’t always happen for me, sometimes I move a character to a different story role. Anyway, I digress.

I thought about what was going on in my life and what emotions I was having and then tried to remember what I did with those “feelings” when I was a teenager. I also “found” my first boyfriend just a few weeks ago and we have communicated just to update about what happened in our lives and is happening.  I remembered I met him in math class in the ninth grade.

I remembered Mr. XXX, my math teacher, and how much I appreciated his endeavor to teach me algebra. I was one of those kids who math came easier later in life–anyway, I started writing about being in his classroom the door propped open (no airconditioning), his three-legged, dog in the corner behind his desk. Yes, I heard he had a gun in his desk drawer. But it wasn’t like big news. So did other teachers and the custodial staff. We lived in snake and varmint country.  We were rural kids and were not curious about guns. We grew up around them. We had respect for the “tool” and our teachers. Local society demanded we did, from the students up. It wasn’t gun tragedies didn’t occur, but so did car and farm equipment. But it wasn’t like it is now.

And then to start my “fiction” story, I started dropping fictional aircraft drop  “bombs” in our rural area. I have no idea what kind of “bombs” or “aircraft” dropped them. I just needed to really shake up a starting point in my fictional history. So these “bombs” could, in the end, be meteorites, or earthquakes-who knows.  I Just needed something that would keep the “real near future” from occurring and set” people” in motion in a way that would never happen in real life.  So my fictional bombs dropped from the sky and made plumes of smoke and dust and shook the school floors,  grounds and walls.  It was  September 1979  or 1978 and I started the ninth grade.

In October and through December of that year in my real life, events happened that tore my first boyfriend and me apart. Those horrible judicial  “occasions” needed to happen in real life and left scars that haven’t healed completely even until today, but,  I wanted those onerous “happenings” to occur differently and with less emotional damage.

Pretty soon, I was writing in third POV and about familiar characters I had already “created” and existed, and some new ones.  I hit 1986 words and stopped.  I needed to think the next scene. It’s part of the setup.

But I needed to know what my teenage girl character wanted before the “bombs” dropped. lol.  Then afterward. I still wanted the “monsters” to face justice, but not at the premium cost everyone paid.

I went to bed. It felt good, so I’m glad I sat down and wrote something. I don’t know if it will be a saleable story. I do know story structure.  Once November is over, and I have time I’m going to make a list of books and sites for people like me that aren’t formally educated.

Storytelling is one skill I’ve always had and had by circumstance and I had to develop it. My biological parents would horribly punish me, and my five younger siblings, if they made noise. I told stories to keep them quiet in the car or at home. Later, I was a teenage mom and wife, and I created original and changed-up stories for my kids.

My children and grandchildren are all exceptional readers and writers. I’m very proud of my children and grandchildren. I’m proud of me that I sat down and wrote something.



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