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NaNo Novel 2008 --- Club Haunt --- a different style, a different approach, but a better novel??

Digby Wilkins
Jeremiah Bickles (known only as Bickles)
Granville Isaacson

Club Haunt Credo: Scientific Investigation of all things Paranormal

This year's NaNo Novel wound up being something entirely different than I set out to do. Originally, I had planned a sequel to last year's novel 'Lost in the In-Between', but when it came time to start this year's NaNo Novel, I found that I wasn't interested in returning to the least not yet. I do have some ideas for Daniel Quinn's further adventures in the In-Between, but this year was not to be the year to write them.

Before NaNoWriMo 2008, I already had the names of my characters and the club's credo, but until the month-long frenzy began, I had no idea what was going to happen in the story. I had no plot, no general outline, not even a not-so-general outline. All I had were three names and a short insert about how the three names came to be on the same club's roster.

Nothing. That's what I started with. This year's project was a complete reversal from last year's beginnings. I had no outline and wrote everything in the last week and a half, where as last year, I had a 20 page outline and wrote everything in the first week and a half. Funny how it all worked out.

Even more funny, I don't think either way produced a better first draft manuscript. They were both fed by adrenaline mania. The only real difference is the first year's mania wasn't being driven by a fear of not being able to finish in the last 6 hrs of writing time allowed. The final release and flood of relief that came with finishing this year was disappointingly absent in last year's almost obstacle-free endeavor. The tears of exhaustion and joy that I shed were welcome and I am proud of them.

So, though a totally radical approach to what I am used to and maybe a marginally better written novel on a fundamental level garnered from experience and practice over the last year, I would be tempted to admit that yes, a better novel. At least a freer novel. There was no time to second guess what I was typing, I didn't even have time to first guess what I was thinking, it all poured directly from my brain to my fingers. But, it wasn't an approach that I would recommend for the faint of heart or those prone to carpel tunnel flare-ups, hell, I'm not even sure that I could survive it again. Yet, I am ecstatic to be able to say that I have survived it at least once!


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