Monday, November 2, 2009

Catching the wave

I'm feeling all woo-hoo. Yesterday, the first day of NaNoWriMo, I typed 3,157 words of a new YA fantasy novel with the working title, Sea Daughters. In the most simplistic description, it's about a surfer whose mother died at sea and who finds a family she didn't expect.
The goal of NaNo is to write a rough draft of 50,000 words in one month. I was freaking out the night before until I realized all I needed to do with this draft is tell the family's story, not worry about all the details of research and fleshing out that I will do in the second draft. That was a freeing realization. I promised occasional snippets and will give you this one, which comes about page seven after Hallie's father tells her an unsettling story and takes her out to sea to show her where she was born and where her mother died. Hallie's refuge is surfing so that's where she takes herself afterwards.
The afternoon winds had died so the waves were smooth and sharp as glass. Perfect. The water was still cold in April. She ran into it, board held in front of her until she bellied on to it and paddled hard. She went under the first wall of white water, feeling the shock on her face. She shook droplets off her hair, glad as always that she kept it short. Another wave loomed in front of her and she went up and over seconds before it broke.
Her adrenaline was pumping. The waves were good-sized and moving fast. This was going to be fun. She spun her board around as a wave approached and paddled fast as her arms could go so she would be caught up in the wave's momentum. She felt the power of the moving water grab and propel her board, and she rode down its face like a slide. With a slight shift of weight she brought her board up to the lip and then drove down again. She was flying. When she finally kicked out over the top, she whooped.
Hallie lost track of time as she caught wave after wave, each peeling perfectly. After awhile, she realized no one else was in the water and the sun had doused it's light in the endless sea. Well, she was going to get a lecture tonight. But this was totally worth it.
As she waited for another wave, she noticed a dark shape swimming underwater in her direction. Her heart thudded. What was it? A seal? A shark?
Hallie's mouth went dry as it swam right up to her board. And then a girl's head popped out of the water. Hallie felt her jaw drop.
Now it's back to NaNo-rama. The goal is to try for 2,000 words a day, knowing there are days when life gets in the way or days when the muse loves you. Who knows how much I will spew today.


Andrea Cremer said...

Woo-hoo, Go Tricia!!

Unknown said...

This is wonderful! I often think our best work comes out in the first draft... no matter what anyone says.

storyqueen said...

Your surfing description is great. I am sitting in a warm house and I got chills, feeling the spray and the droplets of sea against my arms and face.

Well done.

(Love the title, by the way)


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Andrea: I am off and running. Thanks!

Suzanne: Oh goody, thanks so much.

Shelley: Feeling so good about your comments. Mega thanks.

PJ Hoover said...

Way to go on your awesome word count! Whoo hoo!

Bish Denham said...

Cool, cool, cool!

Robyn Campbell said...

Is that you in the water catching a wave? If it is may I say, "WOW!" If that isn't you may I say, "WOW!" Because of the words you wrote. Great start my friend.

I could feel her adrenaline. But you stopped it right when I'm going, "what or who is it?" Now I gotta know! A girl, but who?? Oh man!

Good luck tomorrow. I'm cheering for you. I would do an actual cheer, but you couldn't hear it though the computer so... :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

PJ and Bish: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Robyn: Me??? Naw, it's been years since I surfed but I love to watch and take photos.
Thanks for liking my bit of mystery. Yes, the plot thickens. Ha. I can hear your cheers. They are virtual.

Donna said...

Ooooooo. I can't wait for more Sea Daughters. Happy writing!

Stephanie Faris said...

Beautifully written. I'd say you're off to an excellent start!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Donna: A bazillion thanks for wanting more. Yay!

Stephanie: Thanks so much. And big ol' congrats are due you on the new agent--talk about excellent!

Anonymous said...

Wahey Tricia, i just saw on Nano you're up over 6k words now! Great going! I love what you've written so far, that description of the sea is lovely - sharp as glass.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wendy, you wrote the funniest Nano post. Ever. I'm still laughing. And your word count is totally awesome. Thanks for the kind words.:)