Halloween is over. Archer Avenue, McKinley Park, Chicago, ca. October 2014 | Kenneth Lowe

Halloween is over. Archer Avenue, McKinley Park, Chicago, ca. October 2014 | Kenneth Lowe

I have resolved to finish this novel I have been writing for years now. I don’t think another 50,000 words will quite get it there, but it will definitely get it closer. I’ve already posted an example or two or three here, but I notice that it really doesn’t give you very much in the way of what the novel’s true, sinister tone will be like.

For those just beginning, Long September is a story about a group of young friends who live in rural Illinois, in a small town where the sudden and unexplained death of another girl shocks the community and then drives the entire town into a cycle of recrimination and suspicion based on it’s deepest secrets.

More would give too much away, but it’s also about how children are used as a football by their elders – how the young are forced into the genuinely shitty systems that grown-ups insist are the way the world must work. This reinforces awful behavior, encourages people to be snitches, discourages individuality, and may allow evil to flourish because “it’s always been that way.”

The only reason this damn thing has taken so long is because I haven’t buckled down, and the real reason I haven’t is because I’ve been intimidated by the scope of the novel. It necessarily requires a LOT of characters because it is in part about a town and what a town goes through. So there would be no way to get it done in 50,000 words, but that’s fine. I will crank the 50K this month, and that will get us to a place where the rest will seem easy. Right?

So, the daily report:

NaNoWriMo Day 1
START: 139,508 words
END: 141,399 words

What a wonderful start! Today I circled back on a scene I had not worked on in ages. I had begun it a great long while ago, but just last week I finally got to a point where I realized it fit into the story, and so now I moved back in and reworked it and added to it. It will need further rewriting later, but it’s in there. That’s the thing at this point.

Stephen King once wrote that you need to write with the door closed before you write with it open. That means that you get everything down before you begin showing your work or editing. I bring this up for two reasons; firstly being that it is very pertinent to how I’m trying to write now. I’m very consciously trying not to second-guess myself and start tinkering with what’s already there. That can come later. And secondly, because I was at the little diner I frequent and my server saw I was reading a copy of The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub, though King’s name is up top, and she said:

“I just love Steffen King!”

I said that I did, too.