A Necessary Divide | My NaNoWrimo 2015 Novel

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.


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.

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First Draft Got You Feeling Fatigued? How to stay motivated when your story has lost its steam

fullimagewtfYou know the feeling. You were super excited about your book, all the words were flying out of you, the characters were yammering on inside your head so clearly you really could hear them, everything was going great

And now … you don’t know what to do.

First drafts almost always feel like this, at some point. That initial burst of inspiration has dwindled away and we start to feel pretty daunted; maybe our word count isn’t where we want it to be, or our story isn’t as good or exciting or as competently written as we’d hoped. Our Inner Editor is whispering nasty things in our ears. The urge to quit might be growing too strong to ignore.

If you’re feeling exhausted and getting stuck in the endless ream of drivel you believe your draft to be, here are some things I think will help keep your spirits up, keep your fingers moving, and keep that word count growing.

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Camp NaNoWriMo? What? Again? HOW IS IT APRIL ALREADY? // Resources and stuff

I have so many blog posts I’m meaning to do, so many books to talk about, so many things to report on — but none of that matters right now. Because it’s April 1st, and while most of the world is flinching as they open dodgy links on twitter, terrified they’re about to be pranked with a screamer, a whole excited bouncing bunch of us are cracking our knuckles and sharpening our pencils — because today is April 1st, the first day of the first 2015 Camp NaNoWriMo.

bencamp0  bencamp2

Me, trying to write during Camp

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Beautiful Books Survey — How's NaNoWriMo Going?

The idea for today’s post comes from this cute link-up for writers I just stumbled on (in my continuous efforts to procrastinate from NaNoWriMo). It’s a survey about how our NaNo novels (or whatever we’re writing) are going. Are we typing our fingers raw, crying into our keyboards, or avoiding the computer entirely out of fear it knows what a failure are and talks about us behind our backs all the time with the printer?) Here are my answers!

1. Be honest: how is your writing going?

lol oh god. It’s going okay. Instead of writing a book from scratch, I’m trying to use NaNoWriMo to rewrite the first book of my series. (I know that’s ~against the rules~ but I have to finish this project.) However, there’s a reason NaNoWriMo isn’t for revision. It’s a slow-going process, full of mental hiccups, mental breakdowns, and complete collapses of self-esteem — an uphill slog made no easier by the recent release of Dragon Age: Inquisition.

For real. I thought today was Wednesday because I completely lost Wednesday to a video game.

2. What’s your first sentence/paragraph?

Here’s my tentative opening:

It started with a tremble. A pinch to the walls and to reality. The dresser, sitting opposite Charley’s bed, sensed this sudden disturbance in the air. It wobbled. It moved.

Charley barely heard it, that screech of wood dragging across the floor. He rolled over in bed, pressed his nose into his pillow, and did not notice the dresser move forward a solid inch, as though pushed by an invisible hand. A picture frame teetered and tipped over. Distantly, Charley heard the glass hit the floor and crack.

And then the dresser, the solid oak chest of drawers which took Charley and his good friend Simon almost an hour to lug up the staircase into Charley’s apartment, weighing as it did roughly the equivalent of a small elephant, pitched forward and slammed into the ground. The resulting boom was enough to sit Charley straight up, his heart pounding in his ears. It was enough to make his bed and nightstand shake with reverberation. It was enough to clear the sleep from Charley’s head as abruptly as a leaf blower pressed to his ear, and it was enough to bring the Door into existence.

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Camp NaNoWriMo — My 8K Day

Yesterday, I wrote about 8,000 words. (MY MIND IS STILL BOGGLED, OKAY?) I started around 10:30 in the morning with word sprints on Twitter, and throughout the day I kept sprinting — in ten, twenty, sometimes thirty minute bursts — and watched my word count soar. By around 11:30pm, I was absolutely exhausted, and had just broken 8k. It wasn’t just the glut of new words, though, that I accomplished. I made connections between scenes and characters that I hadn’t expected; the plot fell together so quickly, and that’s because I was spending time on it, getting immersed in it; words kept flying out because I was just in my story. Nothing else mattered yesterday.

The keys to my successful 8K day were so simple, and in retrospect, obvious:

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