A-NaNo I Go-Go

I won last year’s NaNoWriMo, along with about a million other writers (give or take tens of thousands). So even after a Halloween of having a tooth capped, enduring the day at the mall (waiting for my ride home to get off work), and getting a second-degree burn on my finger that night (the result of ne’er-do-well Halloween spirits, not my own stupefying dunderheadedness), I’m back for another month of literary purging. I’ll be writing outside of my comfort zone, and torturing my protagonist in some very creepy ways. I can’t wait! Oh yeah, unlike my first seat-of-my-threadbare-pants NaNo, I even made a brief outline and wrote an even briefer synopsis* for “Mark + Dot” after reading Lazette Gifford‘s guide, NaNo for the New and Insane.

Wanna see?

Here it is anyway:

/ + .

Mark Dodd is an attractive, intelligent high school senior. He has a scholarship to Vassar. After college, he plans to travel the world as a political journalist. He knows he will make his mark on the world. His religious girlfriend Holli is a virgin, and will stay a virgin until she marries. And she won’t get married until their schooling is complete. But Mark wants just one tiny release in his lucky and privileged life before starting at Vassar.

Dorothy, also a senior, is in special education classes and has a genetic facial deformity. After years of being an outcast, she’s ready to move up in the pecking order, and demand respect from her peers. For the last two years, she’s carefully read and re-read her Feminine Health and Hygiene booklet. At the big graduation party, Mark meets Dorothy in an empty bedroom. Twenty minutes later, Mark leaves the room in shame, and Dorothy falls asleep on the floor between the wall and the bed, her legs and pelvis propped up with pillows.

Ten years later, Mr. & Mrs. Dodd are living in the same town they grew up in, go to church together, and have seven surviving children- all cognitively impaired and with facial deformities, like their mother. But all are a blessing, as confirmed by the church. But Mr. Dodd just wants a release in his blessed life. Online, he reads rumors of a planned massive political protest in Boston. He finally leaves home to make his mark on the world.

/ + .

I’m incorporating my “at least 50000 words in November” NaNo goal into my Row80, Round 4 goals. Stalk my progress here or here.

*Subject to minor revisions and major clarifications.

/ + .

Are you NaNo-ing? If so, are you new or insane?

/ + .

MidNaNo Update

At the mid-point I have 27,915 words!

And what have I learned so far?


I mean, “WORD UP!

WORD UP- it’s the codpiece. I mean, it’s the code word (as the lyrics say).

So enjoy the videos, but then no more codpiece until you get those words up!*

Candy helps. Scroll down my “Survival Guide” post for a good karma candy list.

*Unless you’re a really freaky freak, and your NaNo is already past the 50,000-word mark. In that case, you have permission to watch the codpiece in a loop, if you’d like. Ya lucky freak.

/ + .

EndNaNo Update



“It’s peanut butter jelly time!”

Yes, I’m excited I won again, and did it a day early, and with an extra 495 words. I’ve no idea who first wrote the above memes. But I still like them after all these months years, and think them entirely appropriate.

50,495 words of Mark + Dot

Leave a comment


  1. I’m Nano-ing this year, if that’s what you call it. This is my first time to participate, wish me luck on that – and good luck for you too. (Although, I have no specific goals because I can’t meet goals right now. Class is starting soon.)

    Good Luck again, but you probably don’t need it anyway. :mrgreen: I’m sure you’re gonna nail it.

    • Thanks for the luck, good luck to you too. 🙂 Write now, edit later. Try your best to write at least 1667 *unedited* NaNo words per day and you’ll nail it!

  2. I’m not NaNo-ing, but I’m insane. Does that count?

    Looking forward to watching your work unfold! 🙂

    • Ha! Yes, that counts, my insane voyeur. 😉 I plan to post daily word counts at the NaNo site, make any updates to my synopsis in this post on an as-needed basis, and do a mid-way and ending update on this post as well.

  3. Good luck with your intriguing story! 😀
    I added you (I’m jonathancrowe on NaNoWriMo).

  4. You got my interest with the summary of what you’re writing. I’ve never done NaNoWriMo, but I’d imagine something heavily plot-driven would be ideal…so you get all my respect for tackling something that seems like something more if that makes sense? Not just something that drives itself, but rather–a story that it sounds like has to, at least in parts, be carried more by theme, mood, and prose than plot.

    While I’m not doing NaNoWriMo, my output this month, so far, qualifies, so I’m almost tempted to do it in solidarity 😉

    Good luck with it, and kudos for taking on some very cool sounding stuff that doesn’t sound easy to pull off in a mad rush for 50,000 words, but I suspect you’ll do it 🙂

    • “Something more”- yes, there’s a lot of explanatory stuff I left out of my synopsis, because to include it, I would just have to start writing the actual story. I have a detailed vision of a life transforming via “theme, mood, and prose,” like you said. Excellent deduction. 🙂 This project is somewhat of a departure from anything I’ve written so far. And yet at the same time one of my goals for this NaNo is to dig even deeper into my default genre- psychological horror. If that makes any sense. Or maybe I’m writing a “literary genre” novel, as my story isn’t plot-heavy. I guess I’ll find out when I’m done.

      Thanks for the encouragement, and congratulations on your NonNaNo output so far! 😉

  5. I’ve done Nano previously, but this year it’s just too much pressure with New Baby demanding so much of my time. Still, good luck to you! Your story idea sounds heartbreaking and could most likely be a thoughtful beautiful book.

    • Funny, I didn’t initially think of this story as heartbreaking, but you’re right. All the main and supporting characters suffer greatly. But the ending offers a shred of redemption.

      Good luck with “New Baby,” and thank you for your comments! 🙂


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