Back in November, I began a middle-grade novel (a middle grade novel is one aimed at the “tweens” age group) with the working title Truth and the Tepawani: An Adventure in the Amazon for NaNoWriMo. I decided last-minute to take the plunge and try to write for National Novel Writing Month, and didn’t really think I’d get as far as I did. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write an entire novel in a month. The minimum word goal is 50,000 words. But this word goal is actually on the high end for a middle-grade novel, which is more at home at around 30,000 to 40,000 words (unless you’re writing fantasy).
In these posts, I hope to bring you inside my writing process and share a little of what I’ve learned of the art of writing fiction in the 10 or so years since in the midst of diapers, first teeth, nap times, and interrupted nights, I began making it a serious pursuit.
I finished NaNoWriMo 2012 at 32,905 words. I was immensely satisfied with that accomplishment–and exhausted. I decided to rest a while, and then Christmas came, and then the preparation for Chinese New Year, and–you see where this is going, right?
But last week, I picked things up again and even had a breakthrough, and I’m very close to calling the first draft of this book done. And then it will be time to revise, revise, revise.
And to start the next one. This time, another book for an adult audience.
But what’s the current book about? It’s the story of a 12-year-old boy who spends his summer vacation with his missionary cousins in the Amazon basin and makes an astonishing discovery certain to turn modern science on its head–if the evidence hadn’t mysteriously vanished.