From my NaNoWriMo novel

“Can I help?” Charlotte said as she entered the garage.

“Hmmm.” Her father didn’t lift his head out from the car hood.

She stepped up to the side of the old wagon and peered inside.

“Whatchya doin’?”

“Changing the oil.”

“Can I help?”


Charlotte often spent Saturday afternoons in the garage, just watching him work.

“Hand me that thing over there.” He pointed in a generic direction.

Her heart raced as she looked for what he might be asking her to get. Was it a tool from the box? A towel? She ran to the box of paper towels, grabbed one and handed it to him. He looked at the towel and threw it on the floor.

“Not that,” he said, stomping to the tool box. He pulled out a long wrench and went back to work.

Next time I’ll get it right, she thought. Then maybe he’ll let me help.

Charlotte sat down on the step next to him and waited.

Property of Kathan Lewis and Kathan Ink. 
© Kathan Lewis 2010.

I needed this pep talk

If you’re knee-deep in your NaNoWriMo novel (like me) and you’re seriously thinking about quitting (like me), read this pep talk from John Green before you do.

Here is the excerpt that got my attention:

“Why do I quit halfway in? I get tired. It’s not fun anymore. The story kind of sucks, and it’s hard to sit down every day and spend several hours eating from a giant bowl of suck.”

Read more…

NaNoWriMo Lessons: one thing I learned

I guess I hadn’t realized how much I learned during NaNoWriMo last year, until I began writing my novel this year. I finished my 50,000k manuscript last November which was, as I’ve said before, a big mess. In fact, there have been many times in the last year I thought I’d wasted my time. It almost kept me from doing NaNo again this year. I wasn’t sure I could justify spending a whole month carving out 2 – 3 hours a day to write.

But here is one thing I learned, and I am reaping the benefits big time in my novel this year.


Most novellers will know this means Butt-In-Chair, which I managed to do a good deal of in this last year. I tried to write every weekday, and of course I missed many days. But what I did end up with was two journals full of writing. And you know what? Some of it is pretty good.

So how is this helping me in NaNo this year? I get to use what I wrote in my novel! I started flipping through my journals and found that while I couldn’t use 95% of what I wrote, there are bits of stories that work (with rewriting) in my NaNo story. And sometimes I’ll find just a sentence that really sings, and so it has found a home in my novel.


  • If you did NaNo in the past, what are you finding that you learned?
  • If it’s your first year, what are learing about yourself or the novelling process?

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© Kathan Ink 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kathan Ink, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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