Writing a 50,000-word novel in a month is difficult, but not impossible. After all, Muriel Spark penned “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”in one month and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created his first Sherlock Holmes mystery, “A Study in Scarlet,” in about three weeks.
As the month ended, some of the local writers that participated in the annual National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, gathered at the Harker Heights Public Library on Nov. 29 to reveal their progress. They met weekly throughout the month for support.
Reference librarian Sandy Nelson keeps working on her fantasy trilogy, “Damas Scene, Part 2.” The original story idea came to her in a dream.
“I had 105,000 words last year, and this year I’m at 198,000,” Nelson said.
According to the NaNoWriMo website that tracks the writing totals by region, the writers in the Central Texas region accounted for more than 2 million words.
The young adult genre appeals most to Ethan Levine, who did his sixth writing challenge. At 93,000 words his novel, “Untouchable,” centers on a young girl with a rare condition that causes pain to anyone who touches her.
“I’ve done NaNoWriMo since 2010 and completed three novels, and it’s been extremely helpful.” Levine said. “I wouldn’t be the writer I am without it.”
Nicole Helvetius’ 15,000-word romantic fantasy novel is still a work in progress, and even though she didn’t complete it, she said the writing experience was more fun in the group setting.
“I do most of my writing when I come here because everyone is in the same boat as writers trying to figure out our stories,” Helvetius said.
An author of several shorter self-help books, along with scripts written for his puppet ministry, Wayne Haynes almost completed his 47,000-word steampunk novel.
“I could never discipline myself to do it alone, but that is what is so great about NaNoWriMo,” Haynes said.“It helps keep you on track.”