26 November 2008

NaNoWriMo Win!

Filed under: Fiction, First Lines, Reflections — ktismatics @ 5:53 pm

The hallway was surprisingly silent. Glaring but ineffective lights lined the ceiling above the corridor where the footsteps of a slight, uniformed figure hurried to reach the end. The nurse could not see far enough into each cell to distinguish the drugged and sleeping patients. She was quite sure that she did not want to be there.

Thus begins Progress to Grey, a new novel written this month by Kenzie Doyle. This is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The challenge is to write an entire novel of 50,000 words or more, from start to finish, during November. Kenzie finished this afternoon, with 4 days to spare: word count = 50,055. That’s 2,000 words a day. Plus she continued to get all her homework done and, best of all, she didn’t whine about it.

Here’s the info on the email announcement sent by the author to the first invited readers:

Tagline: Instability is the only path away from self-delusion
Rating: PG-13 to R
Warnings: Violence, depictions of insanity, weird messages, etc.
Dedications: Rachel and Kerry, for also participating and letting me blab about my word count to them.
Sophie and Alexandra, for supporting me and just being great friends who are more objective, since you weren’t panicking about your own stories.
My parents, for actually thinking that this is an interesting project and putting up with flurries of self-loathing and bragging.
And to various authors, actors, musicians, and directors, for creating worlds and characters that I could steal and change, and for providing a soundtrack for my writing.
Apologies: I’m sorry if I suck at talking to you enough, especially during November, and for bragging SO MUCH. Also, I’m sorry that this isn’t edited and probably has a lot of sentences and scenes that make no sense. (I’m also sorry that I’m making so much of a bit deal about this for no reason…uh…yeah.)
And now…Here it is!!


  1. This is a very good opening, you know.


    Comment by NB — 27 November 2008 @ 11:49 am

  2. Yes it is. I’m about a quarter of the way through and the book moves along nicely: distinctly drawn characters, interesting situations, systematically unfolding plot, clean prose. It even reads like it’s already been edited, though I know it hasn’t in that short time frame.


    Comment by ktismatics — 28 November 2008 @ 8:08 am

  3. I finished the book and it’s very good and disturbingly fun to read. It’s a sort of exploration of nihilism. The author admits that she found inspiration for her two main characters in “Jack” from Fight Club and the Joker from the Dark Knight, though they certainly have their own idiosyncrasies. The series of events structuring the book fall naturally from each other and build toward a big finish. The book is quite cinematic in structure with lots of visual stimuli, which makes sense since K says that while writing it she regarded the book as a sort of storyboard for a movie. All the while the two lead characters explore interesting psychological terrain together. One of K’s pals who also wrote a NaNoWriMo novel says after reading K’s book that she’s in love with the villain. K finds this odd since “Domino” is not even lovable and doesn’t care that he’s not. All the more impressive feat then to get a reader to love him — or else it says something about K’s taste in friends.


    Comment by ktismatics — 30 November 2008 @ 4:52 am

  4. Well, I’d love to give it a read. Sounds great.

    Do you think the author would mind her dad disseminating her novel on the internet? Maybe I should wait until publication!


    Comment by NB — 30 November 2008 @ 12:02 pm

  5. The author says she’d be happy for you to see the book. I’ll bundle it up electronically and send it along.


    Comment by ktismatics — 30 November 2008 @ 1:16 pm

  6. Great stuff!


    Comment by Seyfried — 1 December 2008 @ 8:04 am

  7. hmmm…I remember when my brother did this. Kenzie’s novel sounds a lot more serious than my brother’s was tho’. but definitely, definitely good writing here.


    Comment by James — 19 September 2009 @ 2:13 pm

  8. Good eye, James. K is looking forward to creating another 50,000-word opus this November.


    Comment by john doyle — 19 September 2009 @ 4:58 pm

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