While I doubt that the real Fräulein Maria ever sang about starting at the beginning, my mother’s obsession with Julie Andrews made me feel, while growing up, that this was good advice. Subconsciously, I think I have always tried to follow it. Perhaps, while writing, I shouldn’t.
NANO is now one-third finished, but my novel is not. I am determined to follow the organization’s advice: to produce a draft of a novel, no matter how badly written, entirely during this month. After all, if I wrote Olivia of Olympus to 36,000 words during the 3-day Novel Competition, shouldn’t I be able write Death Imitates Art given an entire month? I should be: provided that I don’t get too hung up on the problems I’ve had writing a strong first chapter. No matter how carefully I plan and outline, it seems that I can’t get any real momentum going in my narrative and dialogue until–you guessed it–around the middle.