I feel a little better about achieving this challenge - hey, I even feel better about participating.
Today I found a file of mine where I started to write the book as a story, rather than as a timeline of precise facts with no actual social history behind them. It gave me new courage to write. You see, I had been thinking that my book absolutely had to be one of the 'precise timeline' sort, and yet part of me was yearning to write sentences like "Robert carried his baby daughter down the steep hill from the church where she had just been christened'. (And yes, I know the hill is steep. I've been there and walked it.) But another part of me - the rather severe sort of person who has her hair scraped back in a bun and looks at you over half-rimmed glasses perched permanently on the end of her nose - tut-tutted at the very thought of such whimsy.
But then I remembered how this is a first draft, and how they stress in NaNoWriMo that you can write complete and utter rubbish at first, with typos and grammar mistakes galore - as long as you write. So I will take that approach with this family history book. Maybe I just need to get the 'steep hills' out of my system first, and the 'precise timeline' will creep in later. And if I reach the end and hate the lot, I can always rewrite it. that's what second drafts are for.
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