French Friday: A Novel Draft in a Month

Every year the National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo starts on the first day of November.

This year I’m participating with the goal to have 50 000 words down by the end of the month.

So what happened during this first week?

THURSDAY: I woke up receiving a really thoughtful rejection for one of my Picture Book manuscripts with an invitation to send more of my work. A little disappointed but still uplifted, I outlined my new novel and wrote 1000 words.

FRIDAY: Early morning, I received another e-mail regarding the same Picture Book manuscript. This time, the editor asked me if I would be interested to work on a round of revision in order to bring this story to publication. Bring it on!

My 2000 words objective was again derailed because I searched for another manuscript to send to the first publisher and mostly because I felt anxious to receive the editor’s thoughts and start working on the revisions.

SATURDAY: Thursday and Friday’s e-mails were still on my mind. Picture Books very much, too. So I wrote another one, based on its title, which is actually a real question my youngest daughter asked me shortly after her brother’s birth. Sometimes finding a title is the hardest thing, sometimes it starts everything. In this case, I wrote very quickly and had a first 500-word draft ready by the end of the day. Right on time for my monthly critique meeting next Saturday.

MONDAY: Early morning I found Nicki’s blog post in my Inbox and it made my day. She had invited me for an interview about my YA novel All the Mountains We Can Climb. Nicki’s blog is one of the most thoughtful and interesting blogs I follow. She’s a writer, too, and I encourage you to visit her.

TUESDAY: The midterms elections affected my focus. The late results kept me agitated for most of the day. Besides, I was still waiting for the editor’s suggestions and was a little edgy. I still wrote 900 words. Painfully, though.

WEDNESDAY: My husband took me for breakfast, something we occasionally do, either as a celebration or consolation. Let’s say that this breakfast played both roles. Still unsure of my post midterms election mood, although I saw the number of women elected as a good reason to cheer up, I wrote another 1000 words. A friend of mine was organizing a panel with local authors and teens at our library. She had invited me and confirmed the event and the date for January. Always positive to meet the people who are building the world’s future.

THURSDAY: Very early morning my husband told me about another gun massacre in the LA area. Although no one we know has been killed or wounded, it is one too many. Disturbed, I ended up completing the entire revision for a compilation I intend to introduce soon on this very blog. I also submitted one manuscript to the publisher who wanted to see more of my work. The editor apologized for being late with her revision thoughts and promised to get back to me very soon.  Relieved, I returned to work and put 1000 words down.

FRIDAY: It is another writing day…


Conclusion of the first NaNoWriMo week:

*Writing and discipline work hand in hand. Physical but also mental discipline.

*An emotionally charged week, where personal and national events took control of me.

*So I didn’t write 2000 words every day.

*Yet I wrote every day.


















  1. I think for all of us, that last shooting — and the last two fires in California — are just way over all of my lines. It’s just too much.

    • Well, once more, we are in agreement, Marilyn. So sadly, the shootings are now so frequent that they feel like events we cannot control. Like when we say that we have no way to make the weather change. The latest California fire, which burnt two thousands of houses in Paradise happens really late in the season, which also means something. However, these California fires, like gun massacres, leave only deep marks on the directly affected people. Like hurricanes in Puerto Rico or the last one that destroyed the town of Mexico Beach in Florida. We see, we feel the pain until something as horrific happens somewhere else.
      This last week was certainly special on many levels. Which explians why my word-count was lower than planned.

  2. Effort put in – progress made. Given the other events, I’d say you’re lucky (disciplined) to have done as well as you did. Good job!

  3. Behind the Story says:

    Wow! Evelyne. I’m impressed. You write much faster than I do. I’m looking forward to seeing the compilation you worked on on Thursday.

    We’re in for a roller coaster ride these next couple of years. As citizens, I don’t believe we should disengage. But, with discipline and heart, we can still write–as you have described in your week’s output.

    Thank you for taking part in the interview on my blog. I enjoyed having you.

    • Some days I write faster than others:)
      Agree 100% with you on the necessity to engage and unite. We must work together toward a better country for all and ultimately world. I still believe there are more people willing to do so than the other way around. Too much fear for anything new and foreign and too much pride to let go of ideas that have to evolve to embrace the changes of the world.
      Thank you again so much for inviting me over. Your blog and writing are an inspiration for me and for all.

  4. You’ve had an interesting week Evelyne, but I think the interruptions you had with the picture books were very good reasons to be interrupted! Congratulations on your successes with those and on the word count you’ve achieved so far.

  5. I am so impressed you are doing it at all, Evelyne! Don’t get discouraged – it’s a challenge. Plus, it makes more sense to pursue the interest coming in on your picture book (exciting!) My son who does track and field also does cross-country in the fall, and that season has begun. Some of the runners who start out slowly, surprise you when they race to the finish line and victory in the end. Looking forward to seeing your progress (and slow but steady build-up?) as the month progresses.

    • Like your son, I did better with cross-country run than short distance when I was in school. Still favor longer hikes to fast-walking. I guess it helps with writing. You just keep going 🙂
      Thank you for your support, Kimberly.

      • So it will help you in this long, month-long cross-country run. But my son is actually a sprinter and jumper – he’s one of the few who also keeps up cross country, both because he’s good at it and he thinks it keeps him stronger for the track season. I’m glad because I get to discover lots of off-the-beaten-path parks and nature around Rome and across the state. : )

      • Wow! He’s athletic for sure. And those off-the-beaten-paths sound terrific. Enjoy!

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