French Friday: November Is a Bridge To NaNoWriMo

The first autumn I spent in Paris stays close to my memory.

On Saturdays and Sundays, when I had no classes, I took long walks along unknown streets that carried me from one arrondissement to another.

During these solitary autumnal walks, the bridges (thirty-seven in Paris) that straddle the River Seine and link the left and right banks took literally my breath away. I liked nothing more than crossing the Pont Neuf, the Pont Saint Louis, or my very favorite the Pont Alexandre III.

Soon, autumn deepened and winter drew closer. By November, I hugged my raincoat closer to my body and my scarf tighter around my neck. Below the bridges, the River Seine glistened, a thick grey ribbon, disturbed by the gusts of winds and chilly rains.

Lacking the beauty of early autumn and upcoming winter, November felt, however, essential to transition between these two seasons.

Much time has passed since my footsteps echoed along those Paris bridges, the sound as familiar as the beating of my blood.

Yet, November remains for me a bridge from fall to winter.

This year November will also be my bridge to NaNoWriMo.

In the past, I’ve already participated to the yearly national novel writing event. My middle grade novel Chronicles From Château Moines started over one particular month of November.

Twice, however, I twisted the rules and used the month of November to write stories and picture book manuscripts instead of a novel.

This year, I decided to return to the simple rule that defines NaNoWriMo.

From November 1st to the 30th participants write with the goal to have 50 000 words down by the end of the month. For a YA or adult novel it is likely not enough for a complete first draft, but it is a very good start. When I followed this rule I tried to stick to 2000 words a day but Sundays. NaNoWriMo specifies that the novel should be an entirely new project that has not been started yet, although it’s acceptable to have an outline.

My 2018 project is both new and not outlined.

The only thing I knew before I started yesterday is that it would be another YA novel. I also knew that I wanted to write about two of my favorite things in life: books and baking.

There will still be French elements. Of course!

And it will be set in Maine.

During the month of November, French Friday will recap my week of writing, focusing on inspiration and motivation, and on challenges linked to writing in another language, more than characterization and plot.

I’ve no doubt that I’ll go through many ups and downs as I plow my way through the very first draft of a very new story.

So wish me luck and continue to support me through my already published novels. By the way, I’m happy to see that All the Mountains We Can Climb has received its first 5 stars review. Check it out!


P.S. It’s never too late to embark the NaNoWriMo boat. Here is the link to see how it works. 

It is also totally okay to skip the official registration and still write 50 000 words this month.


Will you follow the path and get to the Word Count?



  1. What a lovely way to lead me to your challenge! I was enjoying revising my walks down Paris streets and across bridges…then, bam….you are summoning me to make a commitment to write throughout November! Challenge accepted. I’m heading to my desk right now! Thanks!

  2. I didn’t realize there were so many bridges in Paris!

    Have fun this NaNoWriMo! I’m writing myself, but not taking up that specific challenge.

    • Yes, there are many bridges in Paris and throughout France in fact since there are many rivers in this beautiful land.
      I’m sure you must be busy now, Jennifer. Good luck with your projects, older and new.

  3. Best of luck with NaNo! I’m not officially participating this year; I have to put together a “bible” for a set of stories I’ve written and write a new one. That’s what I’m concentrating on this year. 🙂

    • That sounds wonderful, Marian. I love collections of stories, too, and in fact just finished a similar project to yours. I’ll introduce it on this very blog soon. Good luck with the last touches you are putting on your “bible.” Let us know when it’s ready.

  4. Best of luck on the effort!

    I like your thoughts on bridges. grew up in the city with the most bridges of any city in the world (Pittsburgh – 446 bridges in the city – 26 over the major rivers) and I was born in the suburb of Bridgeville 🙂

  5. I agree that, from a seasonal point of view, November can be a month without ‘focus’. Good luck with yours.

    • The last leg of fall can seem dull in many places, but since it’s my birth month I alway wanted to see November more special than it appears 🙂
      Thank you for your encouragement, Catherine.

  6. Good luck, Evelyne! And congratulations on your five-star review. –Curt

  7. Your autumn walks in Paris sound wonderful Evelyne, you transported me there for a while! Good luck with your NaNoWriMo adventure 🙂

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