Camp NaNo: Week One Recap

April 4 2015

Week one of Camp NaNoWriMo is coming to a close as of midnight tonight. Of course, depending on your time zone you may have a bit longer… or week one may already be done. Anyway….

Week one went well for me. I skipped writing a couple of days (oops) but I’m still ahead of the game, so it’s all good.

Daily Word Count:
Day 1: 5,015
Day 2: 2,005
Day 3: 0
Day 4: 4,047
Day 5: 2,454
Day 6: 0
Day 7: 2,503

Week one total: 16,024 words

As you can see, my word count fluctuates.

My original plan was to write 2,000 a day, extra on the weekends since I’ll have the extra time. As you can see, that has not been happening. I hope to get into a better routine for week two, but as long as I stay on par I’m good.

My novel is going well. I’m writing the next installment to my George Florence series. It’s a brand new case with new characters, new settings, new drama. It’s going really well (in my opinion). When the month is over, I plan on posting an excerpt as a Short Story Sunday that I hope you’ll all enjoy.

In the meantime, we need to prepare ourselves for week two of Camp. It’s the slump week, so I hope you’ve all got your coffee ready!

How is your novel going so far?

George And Me

In yesterday’s post, I discussed how every author puts a little bit of themselves (or something from their life) into their novels. For me, there are numerous things I throw into my novels that are inspired by true things in life. I won’t spill all my secrets, so for now I’ll just explain my good friend George Florence.

20150115_170826George, my protagonist, is a 30-year-old laid-off detective trying to make a place for himself in the world while doing what he loves: helping people and fighting crime.

Being a police officer was something I wanted to do when I was very young. Even when I knew I wanted to be a teacher and writer, I still had a spot in my mind that wanted to be a cop. I wanted to be a teacher since I was six-years-old because of my first grade teacher. I wanted to be a writer since I was ten-years-old because of Kris. Where did this cop thing come from? I have no idea.

When I was little I was always fascinated with that sort of thing. I remember I had a spy kit with handcuffs, a decoder, a notepad, and–the best part–rear-view sunglasses. I was always trying to solve “mysteries” around the house. One time, Kris and I eavesdropped on my mom’s phone call because we were looking for “evidence” in our case, “Mom’s Cooking: Real or Take-Out?” I can’t remember how old we were, but I wish I did.

However despite my fascination, I never pursued it for a plethora of reasons. I’m tiny and have no upper body strength, I can’t stand loud noises, I’m squeamish, and I’m not good under pressure. I just don’t think it wouldn’t have worked out. Of course you never know until you try, but I think when I discovered teaching/writing, my heart changed its mind.

I have written a few novels. Most of them are fantasy-ish with the main characters having super powers. A couple of them are cliche high school drama stories. Each one of those manuscripts (five of them total) are still on the first draft. I congratulate myself for completing a novel, but editing them is just not something I have the motivation to do.

20150115_170900Then I created George. He was a silly character started in a yellow notebook a few years ago at Barnes and Noble when I didn’t know what else to write.

I say he was a “silly” character because that’s entirely what he was. He was originally a detective who did well at his job, but had no common sense whatsoever. He was comical. I didn’t expect to go anywhere with it, but I liked the story. I wrote 32 notebook pages before I stopped and moved onto something else.

Who knew that years later George would rise to the surface and be who he is today?

Unlike my other novels, I completed a first draft easily and then had the urge to edit it right away. I want to continue his story. I want to write more books about him. I want to publish them all. Needless to say, I think I have found my genre for writing.

Funny how it turned out to be a secret passion of mine.

It’s also funny because George was inspired by Phoenix Wright, a character from the Ace Attorney video game series. I played those games and wanted to write my own mysteries and decided to revive George as my main man.

Of course… now that I write this post I realize that George wasn’t originally based off of Phoenix Wright. He was based off of me.

Character Spotlight: George Florence

Questions for the Author

What is your character’s name? Does he/she have a nickname?

The male protagonist in the Detective Florence series is Detective George Florence himself. He does not have any true nicknames, but Lilah sometimes calls him “Jorge” or “Georgie” mostly to annoy him.

What color is his/her hair? What color are his/her eyes?

George has short, wavy brown hair with chocolate eyes.

Who are your character’s friends and family?

George has a big family that he doesn’t talk about very often. He has six siblings that he’s not very close to, but they still manage to help each other out. He’s also a bit of a loner so at the moment his only friend is Lilah as he doesn’t get out very much.

Where does your character live?

George lives in a small two-story building that is both his workplace and his home. The first floor contains his office, a bathroom, and a waiting room for clients in his private investigator agency. The second floor is the kitchen, living room, his bedroom, etc.

What is his/her biggest fear?

Failure. George has been laid off from the police department so in his mind he already failed once. Now that he has his own investigative practice he feels more worried than ever. If he fails, he’s not only lose his job, but most likely his home as well. It’s a big risk.

Has your character ever been in love and/or had a broken heart?

Yes and yes. Of course, I can’t say too much because then I would be giving away a crucial part to a future novel.

What kind of clothes does he/she wear?

George dresses professionally, but simple. He wears the standard suit and tie and has a favorite beige trench coat he wears when he goes out. That makes him feel just like the detectives in the old movies.

What is he/she doing on his/her day off?

George loves to prop his feet up, lean back on the couch with a cozy blanket and the fireplace roaring while watching a good film noir movie. He enjoys the peace and quiet and doesn’t like to do anything too fancy.

What is his/her overall personality like?

George, for the most part is pretty quiet. He knows when to be serious and when to be silly. He’s typically quiet, but can be loud; especially since he’s a detective. He can make sarcastic remarks and has the ability to lose his patience quickly, but he’ll try not to show it. If he’s annoyed, he’ll utter a remark to himself or subtly roll his eyes. However, now that Lilah is in the picture, George is opening up more and more.

Questions for the Character

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

“I believe my greatest achievement would be opening my private investigator agency. It’s not something I would have thought I would ever do—or ever needed to do for that matter. However, I did it. I just need to figure out how to get more cases, that’s all.”

What is it that you most dislike?

“Coffee. Ugh, I can’t even stand the smell. It’s so bad for you, too. It stains your teeth, it has caffeine in it which keeps you up all night, it dehydrates you… and yet, Lilah has it all the time. I’ve lost count how many cups a day she has. It’s completely disgusting.”

What is your greatest regret?

“I think my greatest regret is not being able to help my friends. I was unable to help my girlfriend and that ended in tragedy and a few years later I was unable to help my partner on the police force. That also ended in tragedy. I had no idea anything was wrong, either. If I had just said or done something differently, then maybe things wouldn’t be the way they are now.”

What is your best trait?

“I’m a good detective. I know that may sound a bit cocky, but it’s what I do. Through being a good detective I’ve learned to be compassionate, understanding, and I’ve learned when to listen. It’s all I know how to do. I went to college and received my Master’s in Criminal Justice, I went to the Police Academy, and I’ve worked my way up to detective status. I’ve done a good job on every case I’ve worked on. I think I would be lost if I didn’t have this job.”

What is your worst flaw?

“Well, I am pretty decent at a lot of things… I guess I would have to say organization. Nothing in my house has its own spot. However, I do know where everything is. Then Lilah cleaned everything up one time and I couldn’t find anything. She found great amusement in that, but it was more of an inconvenience to me. I’ve tried to keep it neat and tidy since then, but it’s tough.”

What is your hobby?

“I enjoy doing puzzles. Word searches, Sudoku, riddles, or even floor puzzles. It clears my mind and relaxes me. I don’t like crossword puzzles, though. Those give me a headache.”

Who do you most admire?

“I admire a lot of people in my life. Everyone is so hard working and genuine. They all do the right thing even when it’s hard. If I had to choose I think I would pick my brother, Barney Florence. He has taught me so much about being a good detective and being a good person in general. He also taught me to never give up. When he was wounded on duty he came back to work even though he needed to be demoted for a while. That’s true dedication to the job.”

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“I believe this is an obnoxious question. I don’t think I overuse certain phrases or expressions. Unless you want to count me constantly telling Lilah to stop, slow down, no, or something along those lines then I think I have a pretty well-rounded vocabulary. I try, anyway.”