Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Well, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is just about over. We had one month (November) to write 50,000 words or more. It's designed to get writers off their ass, and get us PRODUCING. Get that story on "paper." Smooth it out later. Just WRITE! I have already uploaded what I wrote to the official NaNoWriMo site, and have been declared a "winner." That is, I got over 50,000 words; my count came in at a bit over 57,700 words (roughly 290 pages).

The name of my novel is Needle in the Haystack. It is about Criminal Investigation Division (CID) agents trying to bust a drug ring in 1961-62 on ships and bases around Norfolk, Virginia. The ship on which the sea-going action is centered is the imaginary Sumner-class destroyer USS Hestek, nicknamed the "Old Haystack" by her crew. It is based on an event that occurred aboard one of the ships I served on (which, by the way, was not homeported in Norfolk). But, of course, I expanded on that basic kernel - a lot!

This was a very interesting experience, to just do a dump of words. It was actually easier than I thought it would be, maybe because I really believed that I had a deadline and worked like it truly meant something. I have never written this way before - perhaps that's why I took years to "finish" my other (unpublished) novel. But this was written quickly; now I can go back and adjust the story line a bit, then edit it. One rewrite. Then comes the most difficult part: getting it published. Wish me luck.