My NaNoWriMo novel: Revealing what it’s all about

Since writing my first and so far only novel, I’ve told maybe five people what it’s about. Even then, I stayed pretty vague. Since finishing the draft in 2007, I’ve never re-read it.

As of today then, it’s been over four years since I’ve seen what I wrote. I figured it’s about time now to share some of it, just a little, a synopsis. Go…

The story is about a college student who realizes one day while sitting in class that he wants to do more than sit in class. He starts asking himself the age-old question, “What would I do if I had only one month left to live?”

Instead of just considering the question, though, the way most people do, he decides to run an experiment, an experiment to live the next month as though he’ll die at the end.

The story then chronicles his journey through living this experiment, each chapter tackling a different day and each day taking him further and further from where he started but also further and further from where he wants to go.

So basically, the main character who narrates the story begins where I began at the time but takes a path I never took. That’s the premise.

I wrote the story as an experiment myself. Beyond just trying to write a novel in a month, I wanted to play out on paper how life might unfold if I lived completely differently than I was living at the time. I wanted to live what this guy lived, but I didn’t have the guts to actually go through with it.

Looking back, I’m realizing more and more how much the plot in that story matches many of the thoughts I continue to struggle with now, particularly, How do you live this month as though it’s your last without it actually turning into your last?

That’s what the story is all about. It asks the question but never answers it.