I want to post a little bit about the novel I’ll be working on for NaNoWriMo 2015! I’m slightly cheating, in that I’m not starting a new novel from scratch. (Has there ever been a NaNo where I didn’t cheat?!) But the fifth book of my series needs some major revisions, so I’ve got plenty of writing to do this month.
Choosing to edit/expand on an existing made the plotting aspect of NaNo preparation easier, though I do miss out on that hysterical rush of frenzied creation so many of you are enjoying. But! This is work I need to do, and NaNo is affording me plenty of word sprints and community support to get it done!! Let me abuse some more exclamation points here so I can be sure not to overuse them in my novel!!!!!!!
In this book, my main 3 protagonists initially find themselves separated — and even when they come back together, there are chasms between them they’re either unwilling or unable to bridge. Meanwhile, a civil war is starting to crack their world down the middle, and even though they don’t want to encourage this, they don’t want their friends to fight for them, to risk dying for them, it becomes increasingly more obvious that there are tides you can’t stem.
SOME BITS THAT I HAVE SO FAR
I’m going to link up with LoonyLiterate’s Snazzy Snippets — The NaNoWriMo Edition and share a few snippets of this monster that have been written already:
1. A snippet without dialogue
This was a hard one to choose for — least of all because I love dialogue. But! A major component of this novel is the burgeoning civil war. Here’s a snippet of my protag, Charley, about to peek in on a rally the “other side” is holding:
The factory throbbed with noise — with shouts and cheers and a raucous stomping of feet. Charley would’ve thought a concert was being held in there, or a birthday party, some excuse to be drunken and joyful and loud, except, as he drew closer, he began to make out the anger underlying the commotion. The jeering. The booing. The sharp tinge to the laughter that made it sound cruel. His stomach clenched. Every instinct was telling him to turn around.
2. A snippet featuring a friend/family member of your protagonist.
This is a snippet featuring Simon, Charley’s best friend. (Who is going through some shit.) He’s traveling through an old battlefield rich with bloodstones — rocks that had absorbed the imprint of the blood and fear spilled onto them.
Bursts of emotion left imprints on the otherworld. Touching the bloodstones in certain sun-beaten places let off sharp pangs of pain, despair, and fear — and left Simon’s hands stained a coppery, stomach-churning red. He camped among the boulders for several days, relishing in the hurt of a misplaced step. The morning he decided to leave, Simon searched the bloodstones for one small enough to fit in his hand. Squeezing the rock flooded Simon with the rumble of battle drums, a stink of rot, and a sharp wet pain slashing down his arm. He released the stone, fear trembling through him, and stuck it in his pocket.
He understood that feeling of being imprinted, of being permanently stained. Of feeling like one touch in the most sensitive place could bring back all the hurt and all the suffering as acutely and vividly as though the wound were still fresh.
3. A snippet that took FOREVER to write.
Abandoned in the wake of four vicious Nightmares that tore the town apart, New Derrickson had that quality to it of a bug squashed by a boot; it was only in the last few months that twitches of life began to return to the feeble, smashed carcass. Scavengers, squatters, raiders and nomads had crept into the city and combed through its rubble, taking what they could use, discarding what they couldn’t, sleeping wherever they might be sure the roofs wouldn’t collapse.
There weren’t businesses open, exactly, and the apartment buildings weren’t inhabited, not really. New Derrickson was populated only if you could give residency to flies dotting on a corpse. The occasional window might gleam with candlelight come evening, the rare trade might pass between hands down one of the pot-holed streets, the rumble of a passing car might tremble the glass strewn over a sidewalk, but New Derrickson was, for the most part, empty. It was, for the most part, safe.
Good lord that took forever. Days, I think. >.<
Now, as for the NaNo portion of the novel:
SOME BITS I’M REALLY EXCITED TO WRITE
OKAY the best way to get myself pumped for NaNoWriMo is to make this editing spree exciting — SO — here’s a list of all the new scenes I’m super psyched about writing:
1. The scene around this silly snippet of dialogue:
“You want to try swimming?”
“You want to try drowning?” said Charley. “Or being gnawed on by a shark? Or swallowed alive by a squid? Or used as a toothpick by one of those seadragons flapping around out there?”
“A seadragon’s about six inches tall,” said Ol. “It looks like a clump of weeds.”
“No—I mean. Like a dragon that’s oceanic. A sea-dragon. Not those little seahorse cousins.”
“You realize the thing you’re pointing to is a crab trap. That’s what’s bobbing out there.”
“Well.” Charley reevaluated the shadowed shape in the distant surf. Yes, on closer, calmer inspection, it did seem to be a crab trap.
2. THIS IS VERY NOT-ADULT OF ME, BUT THERE ARE A COUPLE SEX SCENES IN THIS NOVEL I’M VERY EXCITED ABOUT. It would’ve probably conveyed more maturity had I not capitalized all of that…
3. THE ENDING. I have so many new ideas for the last two chapters of this book. An emotional ceremony, a rallying speech — and lots of fun callbacks to the first couple chapters. So pumped.
4. I’m going to try really, really hard to sneak in some mentions to my fantasy world’s equivalents of different holidays — like, I have a whole idea for what they would do for Halloween, and this story takes place over October, so — I mean, it would be a totally missed opportunity not to get some costumes and candy up in here, right?!
5. Emotional devastation. These characters are going to be clobbered this month. And I’m gonna love every minute of it.
CHARACTERS I CAN’T WAIT TO GET TO KNOW BETTER
Casey — she’s a new character introduced in this book, and I’m really excited to flesh her out. She’s tough, maybe an alcoholic, but there’s something deeply entertaining about her — there’s a real dry sense of humor in this lil’ lady.
“She’s two hours late, at this point. Probably sound asleep in bed, hung-over.”
Casey did have a tendency to show up nursing coffee cups and grimacing behind overlarge sunglasses.
Merelda — another new character! She’s authoritative, intelligent, and running a whole underground anti-government operation with pamphlets, propaganda, maaaaaybe even spies. She’s going to turn this ragtag team of miscreants into an organized movement.
My villain!!! [name withheld] — a huge component of this book is going to be insight into my villain’s past, their motivation, their emotional devastation (this should be the tagline to my blog. Or life.) It’s going to be fun to parse through my bajillion notes and really set this backstory into stone. I want it to be violent, cruel, and just a tad sad and pitiful. (Just a tad, though. I don’t want to justify heinous actions, but I do want to explain them.)
MY NANOWRIMO GOALS
So, with all this in mind, this is what I would like to do this month:
1. Write 50,000 words, obviously. And write every day.
2. Participate in at least one word sprint/word war a day. I love those things.
3. Have at least two 10k days over the course of the month.
4. By November’s end, have completed my edits for Book 5. (And considering these edits might not even span 50,000 words, it would be awesome if I could get some things done for Book 6 as well. But that’s extra credit. Shh.)
5. Visit tons of blogs and cheer on my fellow NaNo-ers. I get so shy about leaving comments, I want to get over this!
Anyway, that’s about it. I’d also like to update this blog frequently with my updated word count and some favorite snippets.
If you’ve posted about your NaNoWriMo novel, drop me a link! Let’s cheer each other on! OOH, and if you’re so inclined, add me as a writing buddy! I’ll also be posting copious updates on twitter and instagram, of course.