My NaNoNovel: The Sofa Whisperer
Photo credit: igorms / Foter / CC BY-NC

It may look like I’m racing ahead with this whole NaNo thing, I’m averaging 2000 words a day and am predicted to finish well before the end of November. But every morning I wake up full of fear: fear that I might not manage to find time to write, fear that I won’t be able to think of anything to write about, fear that it’s going to stop being fun. The one thing I’m not afraid of is that my story might be a bit crap. And the reason for that is this: I already know it’s a bit crap.

I have my reasons for going with a crap story:

Firstly, I wanted something silly to write about. I figured the whole thing would be hard enough without having to get all serious.

Secondly, I wanted to use this as a trial run, and I wasn’t sure that using an idea that I really cared about would work. I thought I’d probably get bogged down trying to make it perfect and that’s not what NaNoWriMo is about.

And thirdly, by the time I actually decided to do NaNo I had about five seconds to think of something to write about. This is what I came up with. Which just goes to show that pressure and great ideas don’t mix.

And just in case you don’t believe it can possibly be as bad as I say, here it is: a short synopsis and a very brief extract from my (slightly daft) NaNoNovel.

Title: The Sofa Whisperer

Synopsis: Layla is your average teenage kick-boxing, angry bundle of hormones, until the day she discovers she can talk to furniture. Confused by this development, she sets off on a quest to find her mother, some answers and a footstool called George.


I’ve located the source of the sobbing, sort of. It seems to be coming from the sofa. I wonder if there’s someone trapped in there, maybe one of the delivery men. I didn’t pay much attention to them but I’m pretty sure I saw them all leave.

I dive into the sofa anyway, pulling the cushions off and piling them up on the floor. There’s nothing there and I feel a bit stupid for checking. There’s not even any room to hide anything. Anyway, the sound’s stopped for now.

The doorbell rings and Dad must’ve peeked out the window from his study because he calls down,
‘It’s the postman. Can you get it?’

‘If it’s bills, can I kick him?’ I yell up the stairs. I’m only half joking. I haven’t kicked anyone in ages and I’m starting to get withdrawal symptoms.

‘No kicking, Layla,’ Dad says, ‘That’s what got us into this mess to start with.’


34,000 words in, there’s a proper (if slightly insane) story in there, complete with hippy mother, ninja triplets and a girl who makes origami when she gets nervous. I’m really enjoying it. There’s about a hundred plot holes, a few characters who’ve been abandoned on the way and some seriously cringe worthy sentence structures. The whole thing is totally unpublishable, but that’s okay because I’m having a laugh and I’m writing. And if it’s true that your first million words don’t count, then at least I’m closer to some that do.



Best of luck to all NaNoNuts out there. Keep tapping away at that keyboard!


13 thoughts on “My NaNoNovel: The Sofa Whisperer

  1. Firstly, I gotta say that I would totally read a book that has ninja triplets and talking furniture. I shudder to think what mine would say though – “Clean me,” maybe. 34,000 woohoo – that’s awesome. I’m on 45,000 and like you, I think it is crapworthy and unpublishable. I also have disappearing characters, plot holes the size of craters and oh so awkward dialogue. But I don’t think my idea is silly, I think it’s very workable – with a whole load of editing, fixing, and quite possibly all new words.
    The main thing is I’m writing, I’m keeping at it and at the end of the month I’ll have the framework for a novel, which to be honest, without NaNo I wouldn’t have. And that’s something.
    Oh and you have a title – I’m still stuck for one.
    Keep on at it. You’re almost at the finish line.


    • Thanks Storkhunter, I’m glad you liked the ninja triplets – it’s one up from an evil twin, anyway. And congrats on your 45k, you’ll be done soon and get to take the rest of the month off! I can’t believe how much I’m enjoying writing crapworthy unpublishable stuff, it’s a funny old world 🙂


  2. Haha! I’d love to read the finished product, sounds like my kind of whimsy. Thanks for the encouragement re NaNoWriMo.. I’m probably about 2 years off getting the balls* to dive in and give it a crack myself.. for now I’ll just keep stockpiling the shreds of courage I gleem from those who go before me 🙂

    (*balls are metaphorical, of course… I’m a girl)


    • Don’t wait two years – dive in next year. I can’t tell you how much difference it has made to how I feel about my writing – and I’m only just over halfway through the month. I’ll put a note in my diary to start hassling you about it mid-October next year 🙂


  3. Oh I would read your story! It’s wonderful what an imagination can come up with. I love NaNo, this is my first year and I’m loving it. even the hard parts, the bad writing days, the bad english, the stubborn characters. I’ve learned a lot about myself as a writer and thats pretty good in my book. hehe pun intended. Never be afraid you aren’t ready to try NaNo DearStephenKing or anyone else! If you let the fear hold you back then thats the shame of it. Ok, I need to talk to my couch for a bit now, it’s got hold of the dog and won’t let go. 😉


  4. omg. this idea is just… wow. it’s strange but very imaginative! i think it’s a great story and i think that your main character is also a very good and developed character from what i’ve seen!


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