It’s Torture


As you may have read, I agonized over what to write for National Novel Writing Month for some time. I had several ideas I liked but nothing that I LOVED. And when you’re doing the mad dash to 50,000 words in a mere 30 days, it really does help to be passionate about your subject.

Cut to 12:01 am on November 1st and Nick and I are attending the First Minute Write-In in Santa Clara. I was thrilled to see so many people and such great Halloween costumes. We settled into our booth, ordered coffee and proceeded to write. I thought I’d figured out where I was going but apparently my muse had other ideas. After one paragraph, I had to change topics, genres, even! Part of that was due to the fact that I needed to check a bookmarked factoid on the Internet and I had no connectivity. Yes, I could have used my iPhone, but that was too slow so I went with Plan B: write a different novel!

Novel B was fine and I was well into my required word count when the late hour caught up with us and we drove home. I was happy with what I’d written and looking forward to the next chapter in my little tale. I knew where this one was going, some of the plot points and a possible ending even. suck at endings so this was a major selling point for me. Yet, the next morning when I got up and checked the calendar and saw that it was still November 1st, I didn’t like either of my novel beginnings. Ugh. Now what?

I tried several times over the next two days to get into one or the other of these novel intros. No dice. I thought this might be the first NaNo I didn’t win but I’m far too stubborn for that! So on Thursday, I started on a third idea. This is one that is peripherally related to my first NaNo start but not close enough that I could use any of the paragraph I’d written. No, I was starting all over but at least I had a couple of research websites bookmarked. The writing went swimmingly and so far, I am still enamored of my novel and especially my MC who is a far cry from my usual character.

Here is the novel synopsis I posted on the National Novel Writing site:

Based on actual events in 1677–1682, during the reign of King Louis XIV: Separated from her playboy husband, the lovely Marie-Madeleine-Marguerite d’Aubray, Marquise de Brinvilliers conspires with her lover to poison her father and brothers so she can inherit the family lands and wealth. ‘Mimi’, as she was called, is eventually arrested, tortured and tried for witchcraft after attempting to poison her family members. Mimi was tortured, beheaded and burned at the stake. Her lover and accomplice, army captain Godin de Sainte-Croix, was never arrested or tried and died of natural causes in 1672.

For me, it was well worth the wait to find this wonderful character and to flesh out her fascinating tale.

P.S. It’s NaNoWriMo so I kept both previous novel starts at the beginning of my Word file – after all, I wrote those words in November and they DO count toward my overall word count.

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About Diann Writes

Diann L. Tongco enjoys sketching, crafts and photography as well as writing poetry and novels. To stay out of trouble, she writes, shows curly-coated retrievers, grows fragrant roses, drinks good of wine with friends and spends time with her grandchildren. She lives on Washington's Puget Sound with her boyfriend Nick and their dog Ozzy.
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8 Responses to It’s Torture

  1. pambowen says:

    Well done, Diann—your third idea sounds fascinating. Write on, lady!
    Pam Bowen
    PS: so far so good on my lyric-a-day project. I have one ready for tomorrow, but then I gotta start cranking them out again. Cheers!

  2. Caroline says:

    Good luck, Diann! It sounds like a great story, and I understand about the passion.

  3. caedmoneries says:

    Ooo Good luck. Sounds much more fleshed out and going somewhere unlike mine. however, I am liking it…

  4. Casi says:

    Well, sounds like you had a rocky start, but if you found something tht you love that’s wonderful!

    Good luck for the rest of NaNoWriMo!

  5. pamelascott30 says:

    I like your synopsis Diann. It sounds like a page turner. I admire people who tackle historical fiction. I’m too lazy for that. I’m glad you like my synopsis. Thanks for commenting on my blog. The novel I’m working on for NaNoWriMo started in the first person and decided yesterday to change to the third person. The frustrating things is not being able to go back and re-write the chapters I’d written in the first person.

    • Diann Writes says:

      This is my first attempt – OK, my second attempt – at historical fiction. The first was probably 20 years ago and was written on a typewriter! Gasp!

      My Dad was a history professor and started me doing research early. I’ve always wanted to do historical fiction so this was the perfect opportunity. A topic I’d previously done a lot of research on and one I am interested in. So far, it’s going well. I just passed 10K words tonight so I’m slightly ahead of pace for the month. And my story is taking shape nicely. I do have some major character developments ahead and that might be a challenge to believably portray.

      Wish me luck!!

  6. I love your main character and there’s obviously plenty of drama–good choice!
    And good luck!

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