Tuesday, November 18, 2014

NaNoWriMo Feature: Beth Overmeyer

Today I'm happy to have as a guest Critique Circle's own Bethywoo! She is the author of In a Pickle, the one and only Beth Overmeyer. It's great to have you here!

You can find out more about Beth on her blog: http://bethovermyer.blogspot.com

She's also on Twitter: @Bethyo

You can take it from here, girl!

Is this your first time participating in NaNoWriMo?

This is my fifth (or is it my sixth?) attempt at NaNo. What made me decide to participate this year? It's a good time with great support...and I get to write without the worries of perfection/editing as I go--huzzah! As for tackling yet another year, the excitement never really wears off--for me, at least. I am stoked...probably because it's still week one. Week two = Writing blues.

What's your project?

This year, my main project is called Things Heard in a Graveyard. It's a mainstream novel about a man who inherits several family journals, which he tries to transcribe into readable/saleable prose, whilst his evil great aunt sues for said tomes. The old witch has never shown an interest in her family's grave-digging history. Why now?

My second project is for in case I get stuck. It's called Murder in the Afternoon: A Sweets and Sours Mystery (working title. Very, very WORKING title.) It's a paranormal cozy set in a bar. That's all I'm saying for now.

How are you approaching NaNo? Are you in the midst of a writing frenzy, or do you have a carefully thought-out plan?

For the first project, I have a scene-to-scene outline. For the second project, I'm mostly pantsing it. So I'm a plantser!

Have you learned anything from this experience so far? Is there any advice you would like to share with other NaNoWriMoers?

My advice to all you new WriMos out there: Do NOT edit as you go. In fact, don't read back any farther than one paragraph, and only then if you've lost where you are in the story. And even then, you should probably improvise.

Finally, here's an excerpt from Beth's NaNo project. Enjoy!

Here's a very rough (unedited, unpolished) piece of tripe--I mean prose, all extracted from the mainstream novel:

Chapter One

We take in the breath of mourners,
Shelter it in our chests,
Then release it with a heavy sough.
Their air is alien to us,
So we don’t hold it in long.

Once upon a time, some people died…But before that, they lived, and here is a few of their stories.

My dad grew up in a household of gravediggers. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Some suggest and jest that he was born with a bronze shovel in his hands. But, as the proverbial collective of random strangers say: “You can’t take it with you.”

Pop grew out of the business before he grew out of bowl cuts and really bad bellbottoms. He traded in his shovel and calluses for a suit and a family, of which I am a byproduct. As he lay on his deathbed, I wondered if Pops felt he made the right decision. Of course he made the correct one: The boneyard wouldn’t feed three mouths like it once had, if ever it did.

Speaking of tools…

I’m a writer, and I have my own tools of the trade. Like a gravedigger—a nobody suit that my pop always preached agaisnt—I work primarilty with my hands. And like a digger, my hands can get callused. And, we have nothing else in common except maybe a few stories. I never thought I had a thing in common with this other world, to which my dad once belonged, and to which most of my extended family tree still clung to. And I was okay with that.

But death is a funny thing.

When Pops lay on his deathbed, rasping some curses as I took one of his vein-riddled hands in my own, he stared at me with not too-unfriendly eyes and murmured something that I didn’t catch.

It sounded like, “Rasputin.” And I looked around the room, wondering if Pops was seeing his escort to the other world. It would be appropriately poetic if it were Rasputin. I was certain at that moment that the pair would get on well.

“Who—” Argyle Augustus Bohn cleared his throat and licked his papery lips. “Who are you?”

I’d been warned of this. The last stages of any old timer’s illness can result in a form of dementia, I am told. At this moment, I thought the old man was just looking to spite his only son.

“Who are you?” he repeated, patient as a puppy for a belly rub.

It would’ve been easy to say “Arys. I’m your son. Arys. You know, the kid you raised with Mom? You remember Betty Bohn? She was okay when I wanted to change my name. She didn’t threaten to disinherit me. That angel left me with the devil.”

Excellent, Beth! I can't wait to read more! When are you posting on CC?

Thank you so very much for being a guest on my blog. Stay tuned next week for our final NaNoWriMo guest!


  1. Thanks for having me, Nadine! I've since gone over the excerpt and found so many typos *cringe* But it's NaNo, so anything goes. Cheers!

  2. Yep, they're easy fixes! Getting stuff down is the hardest part for me.

  3. Don't let the typos haunt you, Beth! :-) This is raw creative material at its finest! By the way, I really liked the excerpt! It has that touch of creepiness I really enjoy.
    Ryan, are you also doing NaNo this year? I don't remember if you mentioned it...


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