National Novel Writing Month,  Writing

My NaNoWriMo 2016 In A Nutshell


It’s been a crazy month to say the least. Usually I dedicate Novembers to National Novel Writing Month, but this year my November was taken up by mounds of work in the publishing company, personal matters, and of course, NaNoWriMo.

My original goal was 100,000 words – because I need to get this draft done so I can polish it and send it off to my editor. I did 100,000 words successfully a few years back (2011, I believe), and figured it would be an easily-achievable goal this year.

Well, back in 2011 I didn’t have this publishing company. And my son wasn’t born yet.

Now I have a small press – with November debuting our 9th title, and I have a five-year-old. I don’t think I need to go into any more explanation about how busy that makes things.

Needless to say, I kind of knew by the middle of this month that I wasn’t going to hit that 100,000 mark. But, I did ‘win’ NaNo, and I did hit 50,303 words. My plan is to have this draft to my editor by the end of February, so I still have a lot of work to do on it, but at least I’ve knocked a huge chunk of it out of the park.

And since I didn’t really give any excerpts this year like I have in years past, here’s a nugget from my unedited NaNo novel to whet your appetite for the third volume in my Expired Reality series.

NaNoWriMo Excerpt:

David Corbin walked out of the grocery store, the twisted knot in his stomach tighter than before he went in to the abandoned building. Turquoise sat on a parking pylon, keeping watch on Serenity’s sleeping form.

Carrie lay against the wall of the store, her eyes closed, her left hand twitching.

As he stood in the parking lot, looking out at the endless tan and clay-colored mountains, David smelled scents that were alien to him. There was something in the air – it wasn’t sweet, nor was it sour. It was just different. Salty, maybe. Something that didn’t fit. Something that didn’t make sense. Something off.

“Where did you bring us, Serenity?” he asked. His gaze remained on the mountains in the distance as he heard the young Wedge stir from her place of slumber on the dark asphalt. He turned to her, intent on asking the question again, but bit his tongue when he saw that yellow liquid was forming at the corner of her mouth.

Serenity spit to the side and wiped the mess on her sleeve. “I don’t answer to you.”

“You split us off from the rest of the group,” Turquoise said. “You must have a reason for doing this.”

Serenity took a deep breath and stood to her feet. “Like I said, I don’t answer to you. Any of you.”

David glanced at Carrie slumped against the wall and fought back the urge to strangle Serenity. “Where did you bring us? What is this place?”

“Or rather, when?” Turquoise added.

Serenity’s face lit up at the insinuation, but she said nothing. Instead, she walked around to the back of the grocery store, passed a large metal dumpster, and stopped at the edge of the parking lot where the land dropped off in a sheer cliff.

David took in more of their surroundings and realized they were on the top of a cliff somewhere in the middle of the desert. The grocery store belonged there as much as they did.

“I have a gift,” Serenity stated.

David waited for more from the girl, but more did not come. She took a seat on the edge of the cliff and stare out into the distance. David noticed the orange and yellow sky was the same orange and yellow levels as when they arrived in this place. He turned behind him and watched a cup roll across the parking lot with the help of the wind. Then it rolled back, and then back again.

“Time,” David whispered. “Time doesn’t move forward here. It keeps lapsing back.”

Turquoise approached Serenity, placing her hand on the young girl’s shoulder. “You’re a leaper?”

“Serenity brushed Turquoise’s hand away. “Something like that.”

“A what?” David asked.

Turquoise shook her head. “A leaper. A rare Wedge power to flash through time.”

“It’s not as simple as that,” Serenity grumbled.

“Then explain it to me so I can understand,” David snapped. “Why did you choose to teleport us here, away from the other two Wedges? And why here? Or when? What is significant about this place?”

Serenity sighed. “Fine. I have a feeling I’m going to be stuck with you for a while, so you may as well know. They did experiments on me – the Core. Before you protest, know that I agreed to it. They made it sound like I was going to do the world better. Shit. What a joke.”

David glanced back and saw Carrie standing against the wall. She was examining the arm that had the intricate rack matter designs appearing in her flesh.

“I used to have the power to teleport part of me across a small distance. Like – like my hands. I could transfer them across the room, grab an apple, and transfer them back. Or my legs, or my head. Or my whole body, but that used to take a lot of my energy. So much so, that the first time I teleported myself fifty feet, I collapsed into a coma. I was out for days.

“Anyway, the Core asked if I would take part in an experimental drug. It was rhodenine – which you know is our Wedge source of power. But it was a concentrated amount, so much so that it was supposed to mutate my powers. Well – it did. Gave me the ability to teleport farther, through time and space.”

“So we’re in a different when?” David asked.

Serenity turned her head just far enough to where she could see David with her right eye. “Sort of. And a different where. I only ever have control of one or the other – time or space. If I want to teleport to a specific time, I can, but it means that I’ll end up in a random place. Vice versa with the space. I know of this place – I’ve teleported myself here a few times before. But I don’t know the when. The first time I arrived here, I searched that grocery store top to bottom looking for a newspaper or flyer or anything to tell me when I was – or even where, really. Nothing. The can labels which I looked at to reference place just confused me more because it’s places I’ve never heard of before. Napa Valley. Boise. Virginia. I’ve never heard of those places before.”

“Neither have I,” David said as he started toward Carrie.


  • Charity

    Color me intrigued. Nice bit of writing.

    I found your blog in part because somehow I ran across your publishing company and became curious about the man behind it. Your comment about sending stuff immediately to your editor interests me.

    How soon does your editor get your work? Do they actively help you plot or just polish it when you’re done?

    • David N. Alderman

      My editor usually gets my work after my second or third draft. I do my best to polish my piece as much as possible before sending it off to be edited, that way it’s less work and time on my editor’s part. Usually, my editor will leave me small suggestions for plot, but mostly she does grammar and sentence structure.

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