NaNoWriMo IS OVER! Did you make it all the way through the month? Even if you didn’t hit 50,000 words, if you tried consistently that’s something. Starting a new story is something. Adding new words is something. Don’t think about NaNo as something you win or lose. Just keep going until you complete your story.
With that said, here is what I’ve been working on this month. This meme has finally made it to every dark corner of the internet. It’s on my blog! I was tagged by Annie Neugebaur (check hers out!) and Ashlee Scheuerman (watch for hers). I would like to tag some other writers, but I think it has made its way to all the blogs I follow.
What is the working title of your book?
I am horrible at titles. I haven’t got one yet. The file is called “Destruction.” Out in public, I just call it “Kay’s story.”
Where did the idea come from for this book?
This idea came up when I wrote the rough draft of Paula’s story. Originally, I just wondered about what happened to Paula’s mom who was in prison for political crimes, and I wondered if someone wouldn’t want to save her just because of all the work she’s done and what she actually does mean to the leader of the Southlands. But how would that be done?
What genre does your book fall under?
I’m horrible with genres. It’s science fiction, but because the youth of at least two characters in this story, it’ll probably be borderline YA.
How long did it take to write the first draft?
Still working on it. I did the rough draft for NaNoWriMo. A passable first draft will probably take another month.
What actors would you use for a movie rendition of your book?
This was a tough one for me. I don’t
know much about actors. I did a search. It turned out to actually be kinda fun.
Kay- Sydney Park. She was funny in Spork. (Which I didn’t make it through.) But she has just the right look in this shot. I think Park manages to catch that look of wariness and yet also an innocence from someone on the verge of growing up.
Teresa- Madison Davenport. Based on that picture. I know nothing about the girl, but she has the right look and a range of interesting acting credits and she’s only 16. Teresa is 12 – 14 in the story.
Aaron – Alex Pettyfer for that pic from Beastly alone. Wow. He’s cute. And he looks close to how I picture Aaron including the hair and body.
What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Kay, an ordinary human living among children of powerful experiments, will go on a mission that will prove her worth to the tribe.
Will it be self published or represented by an agency?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I enjoy looking at how people handle situations that are out of their control. This particular character was fun to see in action, especially early on when she felt she was in her element, yet didn’t quite fit in.
I have also been inspired recently by stories of injustice. People who are in power abusing that power just to keep it.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The book isn’t really complete yet, so it’s hard to say. I’ve had two separate stories compared to Margaret Atwood (for the substance, I’m sure, not the style). It’s science fiction, but I want to focus on the people.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
We see the Neutral side finally. This story is also told from the point of view of a girl who grew up in the Southlands. And we learn a little more in this story about the experiments and possible theories for what was going on.
1. When I get the urge to clean, it’s usually when I should be writing. It’s okay to ignore that rare urge in favor of actually writing. There are small things I can do through the day to keep up or catch up. My favorite tip? Muffin eggs.
2. Even though I have a job that gives me a lot of downtime, I shouldn’t count on that to be my writing time. I still need to set aside time for myself with no distractions, including the incredibly adorable lap warmers that are my cats.
3. Just write. This is obvious, but the reminder is always good. Don’t listen to the nagging during writing time and just get things done.
4. Having a plan for what I’m working on helps. I generally know what will be happening when I sit down to write but it really helps to put into words what I want to get out of the scene. This can be done as I sit down or it can be done the day before.
5. It’s also okay that I don’t always have a plan. Sometimes my best ideas come when I’m just writing. There are times when I just need to see what the characters do in a situation.
6. It is okay to be bad. I have scenes that are just dialog, and no description. I introduce things awkwardly and bring up elements that weren’t mentioned earlier because I forgot. Instead of worrying, I just write a note to myself asking questions or pointing out important ideas or telling myself to put some clue in. I never make notes about how bad things are.
NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow. I’m giving myself time to that sleep and then wake up although I’m pretty nervous and excited. This month (October), I had intended to do absolutely nothing except maybe edit. It didn’t work out that way. I actually ended up writing three crappy stories, and I hit across one story I’d like to delve into more deeply.
Let me just say that finishing anything, even if very rough, feels amazing. One of the greatest fears I have is that I won’t be able to finish because I’m not a real writer. I’ll just let the story fizzle out and become frustrated when I can’t connect the beginning and the end.
I went to the first meet up last week, and it made me realize that this is exactly what NaNo is about for me. This fear usually sits in the back of my head where I ignore it because, duh, we all feel this way when we commit ourselves to a story. But NaNo puts the pressure on. It forces that fear out of hiding and puts it front and center where I have to face it.
So far suggestions have been to tell people that a novel is being written so that people in your life will help hold you accountable, but I don’t think that’ll work for me. This is a battle with myself. Luckily, I have left over confidence from my intended month of rest all because I managed to finish a couple of really questionable stories. That’s the power of just doing. I’ve see that it can be done, and now I just have to do it with a larger story over a longer period of time. That’s all.
So on this day before NaNo, and I just want to wish everyone a happy month. Even if you don’t hit your goal, or even if your story is crap, just keep going. The reward is really worth it.
The local NaNoWrimo chapter is holding a meet and greet on Monday. They’ll do local write-ins during November. I’ve never actually gone to one of these write-ins, though I was very curious. Part of it was because I couldn’t make the meet-ups, but most of it was because it meant having to meet writers in real life.
I’m so used to writers being someone on the computer screen. Your face is just a picture next to your twitter name/bio to me. What I meet are a writer’s words, and I learn a lot from those words. Despite the importance of book covers and author pictures, I really judge a writer on what they say. (I’m actually very picky, friends! I don’t just friend people because they also happen to write. /snob) The internet is our medium, we live our words and put ourselves forward with them. Some of my best friends have never even heard my voice! But they know me better than many people who actually meet me and have a chat with me.
The other thing about write-ins for me is that they’re just a distraction. How in the world would anyone get any writing done as a group and in public? I don’t think I would. Maybe their furor would help? It might be an interesting group dynamic. Anything can happen when people get together. So, though I’m nervous, I just might go.
Yes, this year, I’m doing NaNo. My intent is to knock out the next rough draft of a story that’s been on my mind for a year now. I need to learn how to write out rough drafts faster, especially if I want to spend more time editing. My current plan is to write up a basic outline, and then each day in November that I sit down to write, I’m going to write out what I intend to do that day. Sort of the same way I do already when I get stuck on something. I put down my intent with the scene so that I can see it clearer.