Tuesday, December 4, 2012

30 Days of NaNoWriMo Novel Snippets

When I was writing for NaNoWriMo 2012 last November, I started posting my daily word count on my personal Facebook page as status update. After a week or so of this, I realized that those updates were probably pretty boring. That's when I started posting short snippets from each day's writing along with my word count for the day.

Just for fun, I have decided to put those snippets together here so they can be read together. And since I know how many words I typed each day every day of the month, I will be able to go back and find some snippets for the earlier-in-the-month days when I didn't post one. (Did I mention that I finished on November 30th with a completed manuscript and 100,169 words written?)

Keep in mind that these snippets are part of a very rough first draft and, as such, are subject to changes, some small and some drastic, and even subject to deletion from the final novel. Also, they will not tell you the whole story, only give you pieces of it.

To make the story a little easier to understand, I will start by posting the working title ("working" meaning I will most likely be changing it - and I am open to suggestions) and the (rough) synopsis.

Title: Paranormal

Marie is a single mom of four who finds herself helping a couple of guys who fight demons and spirits. She's blown away by meeting these guys and some of the creatures they hunt because it changes how she views her world and how safe she feels she can keep her children. She's not a demon hunter and has never before had any dealings with the paranormal; she's completely ordinary, or so she thinks until strange things start happening, suggesting she might have some inhuman powers of her own.


Day 1:
Two men were out there, and so was that thing, the thing that had made the night feel so wrong. One of the men was swinging at the dark creature with a sword, a sword that glowed fiercely, pushing back the shadows.

Day 2:
“You’re in no condition to fight another one of those beasts tonight,” I reminded Jake.
“It doesn’t matter,” he answered. “Someone else might get hurt if we don’t get it off the streets.”

Day 3:
They discussed different strategies for protecting the house, and when it sounded like they had come up with everything they could think of, I spoke up. “I want to learn to fight.”

Day 4:
No choice now. I raced headlong at the beast, swiping my dagger against its throat and dashing to the right before its claws connected with me.

Day 5:

The kids were all still asleep. Watching them sleep, I couldn’t help but wonder what I had been thinking when I ran out there to face down the giant werewolf. I mean, I could have so easily been killed. In fact, by all reasoning, I should have been killed. My children would have been left here with no mommy. And no one would know they were here. They would have woken up and not known what happened to me. That is, if the monster hadn’t come and attacked them in their sleep after killing me. How could I have taken such a risk?

Day 6:
I was freaking out inside about this news, but I didn’t show any sign of my inner turmoil. If they knew I was freaking out, they might not tell me the rest.

Day 7:
“Our life – it sucks. And although Jake feels responsible for fighting evil, he feels as though he has to do it, he’s never really wanted this life."

Day 8:
"I think - I think maybe we just found you too late. I think maybe we should just find a way to help you get on with your life and leave our life behind you."

Day 9:
“But what about the necklace?” Jake asked. “Can dream walkers bring things from their dreams into the physical world?”

Day 10:
When the glow faded, the beast no longer stood before me. Instead a man stood before me. He was dressed as a knight, and he fell to one knee at my feet.

Day 11:
I looked between them, still not sure what the right thing to do was. I had decided that Sir Rowland was telling the truth and my instincts told me he wasn’t dangerous, so I invited him inside. Jake’s scowl grew deeper.

Day 12:
He looked into my eyes, as though trying to make sure I was listening. “And you saved one of them! You released her from captivity. I have never seen it done so quickly before. An exorcism usually takes days, sometimes weeks, and even then, the vessel, once released from the demon’s hold, often dies. You saved her with a touch.”

I got dressed in the leather catsuit and Jake and Sean helped me strap on different weapons. There were straps for daggers and knives on my legs and ankles, one for holding a short sword on my back and the guys affixed a belt around my waist with holsters for two guns. I hadn’t trained much with guns, but I knew the basics.

Day 14:
I threw a pillow at him, but it missed him as he ducked out the door. I smiled. We had survived, all of us. I could barely believe it. After facing my certain death and accepting it, after facing down those insurmountable odds, I was still here. And everyone I cared about was still unharmed. I sobered suddenly. It was all too good to be true. I suddenly knew that something really bad would be coming for us. Would I be ready?

Day 15:
If only it were that easy to stay safe. The shadow dragon man was dangerous. I could feel it in my bones, and what’s more, I could sense that he was here, close. I knew he would be coming for me. And I had the sinking feeling that none of us were ready for him.

Day 16:
I moved just in time, as seconds later, the window shattered and the huge werewolf I had faced once before, the first time my powers appeared, crashed into my living room. I felt tiny stings as pieces of glass scraped my face. I dove to the side, barely out of range of the werewolf, and rolled easily back to my feet.

Day 17:
“He said the same thing. He said I wouldn’t be able to resist him. But what choice do I have? I’m going to have to face him eventually. Isn’t it better that I face him without risking the safety of my children when it happens?” I looked Jake in the eyes, trying to convey my seriousness. “I have to go.”

Day 18:
I was glad he had confidence in me. If only I could find confidence in myself. Even after using my gift time and again, I had no real idea of how it worked or how to control it. I didn’t know why it drained me, so how was I supposed to figure out how to stop it from happening? Before my power had been awakened, I was a normal woman, a mother. Now suddenly I was powerful and supposed to know what to do with that power. So much was being asked of me, and, for the sake of the people I loved and, in fact, even people I’d never met, I would have to figure out how to access my power and control it. I would have to learn to become a weapon against darkness. It is what I was supposed to become and what I was meant to be.

Day 19:
Imps were small, about the size of a toddler. They were the color of a snail with skin that was similar to a slug’s. Their eyes were red and bulbous. They were bald, and every tooth in their mouths was sharp and pointed, made for ripping through flesh. Their food of choice was small babies, but, since it was difficult for them to get babies, they often satisfied themselves by eating family pets. They were capable of cloaking themselves for short periods of time and of moving very quickly.

Day 20:
“But unicorns aren’t real,” I whispered aloud to myself.

Jake heard me. “What makes you say that? Surely if all of the evil creatures of legend and myth exist, then so do the good creatures, the ones of magic and light.”

Day 21:
“Whoa! Are you telling us that you got possessed?” Jake asked.

“No. Well, yes. Sort of. It wasn’t a demon. At least, it didn’t feel like a demon.” I was rambling.

“Then what was it?”

“Not a demon?” I know. I’d already said that, but I didn't know what else to say. I really didn’t know what had taken me over. But I was certain that it was something less evil and way more powerful than a demon.

Day 22:
I knew I needed a shower. I briefly entertained inviting Jake to join me. I’d already been considering allowing this thing between us to go to the next step, and this would be the perfect opportunity to take that step. But naturally, I chickened out.

Day 23:
“I am not an angel,” I glared at Rowland. “And I can’t be certain, but I’m pretty sure there is no angel inside me. Whatever it was that took me over, I don’t feel its presence anymore.”

“Maybe this new ability to heal yourself and the extra energy are just the after-effects of being possessed by an angel or whatever that thing was,” Jake said. “If it’s just the after-effects, it’ll wear off eventually, so don’t get too used to it.”

Day 24:
The sand blew in my face, stinging my eyes. It began to coat my throat, making it hard to breath. I shut my eyes, and started coughing as I could feel it filling my ears and muffling sound. I struggled to breath, slowly suffocating to death.

I whispered one word. I don’t even know why I said it as I lay there in the sand, being buried in more sand. My thoughts just turned in that direction and I whispered, “Jake.”

And then he was there. He was grabbing me and shaking me, yelling at me and starting to cough too. He is going to suffocate with me, I thought weakly, knowing I was about to die. He leaned in close to my ear and continued yelling. And that’s when I heard what he was shouting.

“Marie, wake up! Marie! WAKE UP!”

And I woke.
Day 25:
She stopped in front of the statue of an angel that stood just a few yards outside the cemetery grounds in the field. I noticed more graves, most of them with smaller, less noticeable headstones. They just had small plaques lain in the ground over the graves rather than large headstones. I looked at the plaques but didn’t recognize any names. When I looked back up at the stone cemetery angel, I noticed that she appeared to be presiding over, or watching over, these less noticeable graves. Her stone fa├žade was crumbled and cracked, the signs of time passing showing in each smoothed over line and each split in her surface.

Day 26:
“No, there’s been no sign of him, just his compulsion spell,” Roland said. “Marie, I wanted to kill you. He made me actually enjoy the thought of wrapping my hands around your throat and watching you strangle to death. How can he do that? Compulsions aren’t supposed to make you feel what he wants you to feel, just to do what he wants.”
Day 27:
“What do you mean she looks like me?” I asked David.
“She has your hair and your face, Mommy,” he told me matter-of-factly. “Can’t you see her?”
“Not as well as you can, baby,” I said. “Can you hear her?”
“She’s not talking right now,” David said. “She’s too busy trying to hide her wings.”
“Her wings?” My voice was startled.
“Yah. She doesn’t want me to see them, but I can.”
Day 28:
Why did I keep seeing these references to me, or someone who looked like me, with wings? While wings would be kind of cool because I would love to be able to fly, I was allergic to down, so growing feathers would probably not be a good thing for me to do. I could just see me now, battling demons while sneezing violently into their faces.
Day 29:
Oh, wow. Jake was the one feeling insecure. I hadn’t even thought of how my sneaking away this morning might have looked.

“I didn’t sneak out on you, Jake,” I told him, my voice gentle, all traces of my earlier sarcasm and

anger gone. “I didn’t want to wake you; you were sleeping so peacefully. But I didn’t want the kids to wake up and find me not there, so I needed to get back before they woke up.”

He looked at me, the hope in his eyes melting my heart completely. I moved closer to him and grabbed both of his hands in mine. “Last night was incredible for me too. I can’t stop thinking about it, about you.” I let go of his hands and cupped his cheeks in my hands, looking directly into his eyes. “I was hoping that we could have a night like that again sometime.”

And just like that his lips were on mine and his arms wrapped around me, pulling my body up tight against his.

Day 30:
I dreamed.

I was standing on a giant book, and, as I walked along its pages, my story slowly wrote itself. There weren’t that many pages in the book that had writing on them; most of the book was still blank. My life was still, mostly, unwritten.

To my right was a second book. Jake walked along its pages, but, as I stopped along the pages of my book to look at him, he stopped to look at me. And we stood there, our story still unwritten and so many words still unsaid.

1 comment:

Missy Ames said...

This is such an awesome idea, and a great way to get more interest in your work.