Happy November 1st, which around here marks the beginning of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, when writers try to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I’ve done NaNo 7 times since 2011, most recently in 2019 when I wrote The Princess Beyond the Thorns, a book I’m hoping to publish in the next year or two. And this year, I’m kicking off a brand-new project, and plan to blog about it.
I noticed while researching for my Guardian trilogy that most other historical novels set in Paris seem to take place during World War II. My setting was 1881 so that was quite different – but it occurred to me that World War II would be the right timing for the Phantom of the Opera’s granddaughter. So that’s the story I’m writing this November! I’ve been researching the Occupation of Paris throughout October (a little light reading!!) and began the actual drafting today.
Because I have an eight-month-old baby, I’m adjusting my goals a bit this year. Rather than aiming for 50,000, I’ve decided to do a half-NaNo and try to reach 25,000 words. Today I got started on my opening scene and wrote 1,073 words – so that puts me a couple hundred up from my goal of 834.
Here’s a little glimpse at the writing so far:
I halted on the edge of the Place de l’Opera and drew in a satisfied breath, tinged with just a touch of relief. Of course it was ridiculous to think that the opera house could have collapsed or vanished, just because my grandfather had died – but somehow, I hadn’t quite been able to feel that it would still be here. But there it was: the Opera Garnier. The soaring pillars on the front, the line of grinning masks, the great dome and the shining, golden statue of Apollo at the very top. All still just as it should be and had always been.