Chasing Caviar with a Double Shot of Gin Killed My Stomach

National Novel Writing Month last year was a hoot.

I remember the experience being frustrating, but I had a blast. I wrote Christopher De Voss into my book as zombie actor, Chris De Floss. When Susan and Darby ordered a pizza, they asked for the toppings from one of David Harding’s real-life pizzas. Two photographs of a fellow blogger were described as paintings in the book. They are hanging in a fictional gallery on Rush Street in Chicago. I used elements from a pulp fiction story in the book, and the cover is fabulously cheesy with a man in a gorilla head mask. I think it all turned out great. Image

National Novel Writing Month this year? Blech.

Before I could start my new book, I simply had to finish Maple Leaf Hunter. I wrote over 27,000 words from the first of the month to the tenth. After that, I did a little editing, suffered distractions from family members, and finally started writing for NaNo on the 18th.

The new book is a humorous murder mystery. I love my opening line:
Chasing caviar with a double shot of gin killed my stomach.


You can’t beat a murder in the first sentence, and I was off and running. I raced the clock for the next thirteen days and finished with only a few hours to spare at 52,677 words.

For the first time ever, I wrote without editing, and the book is a mess! There are a ton of crossed out words and sentences that need rewritten. I didn’t research as I wrote, and there are numerous details to look up and fill in.

I generally do most of my writing after 7:00 at night. In the morning, I read what I wrote the night before and clean it up. By the time I’m writing again, I know my book is in pretty good shape, and I’m in the right mindset for going forward.

I took the time to edit the first chapter of my new NaNo book. The word count went down by 735 words! Yikes!

So how are things in your neck of the woods?

43 thoughts on “Chasing Caviar with a Double Shot of Gin Killed My Stomach

  1. I’ve learned that’s the way to do it–get it all out first, even if it’s a mess. As long as you leave notes to yourself, you can look things up later. I have a tendency to want to keep going back and revise what I’ve written, but I’ve finally learned this is a waste of time. Why spend time trying to make a passage perfect only to find you have to toss it later on?

    Congrats on your productivity. Smoke must fly from your keyboard at the rate you go!

    • It was long after I had developed the habit of editing as I went along that I read where the experts tell you not to do that. I was too far gone by then, but I never felt it was a time waster, because when I was done writing, I was pretty much “done writing.” With this new book, I feel like I will be re-writing the entire thing! I’m aghast at how much work I still have to put into it, instead of just going to my usual way of editing. It’s all good though. I’m happy to have books in the new series to get ready.

      I sure hope that next book of yours is nearing publication! 🙂

  2. Maddie!!! Writing as much as you wrote last month is never a waste of time. Sure you have to clean it up quite a bit, like most of us NaNo’s do, me included, as mine is more of a mess than yours I think. hahaha! Anyway, you got it done and I couldn’t be more proud. I just wish I could write like you do, as fast and as good. I’m not touching mine till after the holidays, then I have chapters to add on and tons of editing, once I get the chapters in order. Ack!! Anyway, I have several ideas for other books, so who knows what I will do. I’m just glad to have you as such a good friend I can interrupt your writing to bounce ideas off of. 🙂 Big hugs lady!

    • I’m really looking forward to your finished work, Jackie, and I’m glad you have more ideas! It’s a good time to be writing – while you’re cooped up in the house. We have six inches of snow headed our way tonight, so I plan to edit all weekend. The NaNo book can wait until February though before I look at it again. I was happy to have the interruptions and someone to talk to during that writing marathon. 🙂

      • And I’m looking forward to your finished works! 🙂 It is a great time to write right now as it’s -30c (-22F) with the wind chill factor of -45F. Baby it’s cold outside! Poor Sam, I think he’s half frozen before he finds a suitable place to pee. 😉

  3. Yay, congrats on winning! Knew you could do it. 😀 It’s always normal for word count to go down by a low margin… especially when it’s the word count of a NaNo manuscript. xD

    The opening line sounds cool too!

  4. Congratulations!! I can’t believe you finished in 13 days. Wow! Great opening sentence. I can’t wait to read the rest.

    I didn’t have time (sounds lame, but true) to do NaNo this year. I’m hoping next November won’t be as crazy as it was this year and last year. I miss doing it.

    • Juliann! I don’t know how you have time to write anything – unless it’s for work. You are one active woman. I’ve missed living vicariously through you and am hoping I can keep up with your travels in the new year. 🙂

  5. Maddie, You are a writing inspiration to me! There was no Nano for me. It’s just to tough for me in November with the ever famous Wisconsin hunting season, and the ever famous budget and levy adoption season for me at work. But now, this morning, as soon as I’m done here, I plan to glue my butt to this office chair and finish the last 1/3 of the Nick Spinelli mystery series I’m working on! My goal is to complete it within the next two weeks.

  6. Way to go on the writing! I think that is a great accomplishment in itself. 🙂 You should look at the fact you were writing 2 books! 🙂 Great first line! I never think of catchy first liners. My editing has also led to deleting words instead of adding. I enjoy reading everything you wrote. I’m happy that you will be back blogging more. 🙂 Stay warm and happy editing. No snow here but it is cold.

  7. Caviar and gin. What a funny coincidence– that’s my typical breakfast… : P

    Wow! What an exciting saga! I have this image of you sitting at the computer, a bowl of caviar to your left, gin bottle on your right. No cigarette dangling from your lips, but the room is hazy, thanks to a mini fog machine discreetly tucked behind a drooping potted plant… : )

    Congrats on yet another heroic achievement, my dear Maddie! Yes, I think writing straight thru is good strategy, both for books and blog posts– easier to weed out the chafe when you can see the big picture. (“weed out the chafe”? Gee, maybe I should become a writer myself– I seem to have what it takes… : (

    Good luck with the editing. Be ruthless, but not too ruthless, because the author is a friend o’ mine… : )

    • Your comments are the best comments on WordPress, Mark! They always make me smile. You are a writer! I think a book of your comments would be a best seller. 🙂

      Thank you always for all your kind words.

  8. Congrats on emerging a winner, Maddie!
    I wish I could have finished Book Two of The Bellman Chronicles last month, but I’m not made of the stuff of a true literary warrior like you are, young lady.
    Well done!

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you’re working on your second book. I own your first book, but simply haven’t had time to read all of it yet. I will though. And I’ll be buying your second book, too! 🙂

  9. Ahem, I would like to formally submit my bid ticket to be written into your next novel, Maddie. I want my character name to be “Powderhead”. And I want to be a metrosexual bartender living in New York who listens to Kenny G and has a thing for boiled peanuts. I’ll follow up with you.

    Or, Butt Hunter. That is my second choice.

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