For the month of November, Lauren Hooker will participate in a writing challenge like none other. Every Monday, you have the chance to read about every moment of this quest.
You know that feeling of waiting for something exciting happen? You’re watching the clock, counting the minutes, anticipating what is to come; it’s like waiting for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movie midnight premiere to start, listening for Santa to come down the chimney and the opening of the Nordstrom Rack all rolled into one.
That was the evening of Oct. 31 for me. As the hours ticked closer to minute, I did everything I could to bide my time. I planned my novel. I searched character surnames online. I stumbled upon a photo-set of a cat who fostered a litter of hedgehogs. I pinned, tweeted and Facebooked. I trolled the NaNoWriMo forums, sharing my excitement from my keyboard with people from the Mountain Standard time zone.
And then it happened: 11:59 p.m.
I pulled up my word processor, fingers poised at the keyboard, drafting my opening sentence in my head, making the last minute decision to write in first person. The clock struck midnight, “It’s twelve o’clock…” my computer trilled at me.
“It was deafening, the sound of my hands shaking. The sound of my heart beating against my ribcage, trying to burst out and flop onto the cold, metal table.”
And with those first two sentences, I took off like a rocket, slamming out 1782 words in the first hour and a half. After a few hours of sleep, I woke up in excitement, and headed off to the Flying M to get some writing in before my day started. As it turns out, a coffeeshop is the perfect place to “shop” for characters. I found myself describing certain individuals in the building, creating personalities, basing their character’s appearances off of them.
Inspiration can be found nearly anywhere; a person you see on campus, a status update, a quote, a poem, an article, the latest crime on television … the possibilities are endless.
I find myself basing my main characters off of major people in my life, and completely making things up in other areas.