It is upon us! NaNoWriMo season again. If you’re not aware, NaNoWriMo is an event that takes place in November. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writer’s Month, and during it thousands of writers around the world set out to write a 50K (or more!) novel in a month. There are also two summer programs called Camp NaNoWriMo that take place in April and July. They’re a little more relaxed, in that you can set your own word count (or editing) goal, and you’re not limited to just working on a novel. There’s screenplays, epic poems, memoirs… everything. You’re also sorted into virtual cabins of up to twenty members, where it’s basically a chat box, and you can word war, brainstorm, and commiserate with your cabin mates. There’s also the option of private cabins, where you can be with your friends. I’m in one run by Savannah with some absolutely lovely blogging ladies. And that’s Camp NaNo.
I’ll be working on the “Smoothie story” that I’ve talked about a bit before, but I’m using it as an incentive to slog away at it. I’ve come to the realization that I will not be done plotting in time, and that if I rush the process I’ll achieve burn out. I’d rather write a better book slowly than rush and have something that I’ll have to re-write from scratch.
Allie and Anika dug up an old Beautiful Books and it asks some good questions. I’ve talked about this book quite a bit recently, it feels like, but with the ever-changing and evolving plot I thought I’d talk about it again. I promise, this’ll be the last time until Aprils over.
How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
I came up with it about a year ago, when it was just a spark of a sentence in my head. The sentence sat there for another few months before I started building the story around it. It is totally different now, and the sentence will no longer fit in the slightest. So the sentence has been around about a year, and I started getting the story in a fuller form around September. It’s come pretty close the the end vision for the first draft this week.
Why are you excited to write this novel?
The plot and the themes. I’ve been telling myself for quite a while that I can’t write a deep book, not the way that Lewis or Tolkien or Potok did, so why even bother, why even try. But… there is nothing keeping me from writing a deep book. There’s absolutely nothing saying that I can’t go slower, take my time. This is my book. And once I came to that realization, I also came to the realization that I have a story worth telling. I want to tell this story. Even if no one except my critique group (and my two best friends because they’d kill me if I didn’t give it to them) reads this story, I want to write it and I want to write it well. And now I’m so much more excited about it. I can do this. I can communicate these themes, this plot. And so can you. Well, not my plot, obviously, but yours. Even if you think you’re an awful writer, you can still try with all of your might. And you’re never going to do it if you just don’t try.
What is your novel about, and what is the title?
Nina Thompson is kidnapped and held for ransom by her estranged uncle. In order to to bring her home, her godbrother Christopher must conquer his own desire for revenge and team up with his worst enemy.
Title? What is this mysterious title you are referring to?
Sum up your characters in one paragraph each (feel free to add pictures!).
Fun. Scared. Laughter. Naive. Plans. Desire. Go with the flow. Playing guitar in the back of a pickup.
“Demons run when a good man goes to war.”
Determined. Strong. Serious. Justice. Music. Despair. Sadness. Practical. Uncertainty. Know it all. Will everything work out? Works too hard.
“Never give up on your dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it”
Smart. Blunt. Independent. Testy. Safe. Thief. Running. Streams of talk. Bubbling brook. A puppy.
“When it rains, look for rainbows, when it’s dark, look for stars.”
Thunder. Skewed justice. Determined. Intelligent. Selfish. Dangerous. Smoke in a dark room. Playing cards. The distant rumble of a thunderstorm on a summer’s night.
“It wasn’t I who made me.”
Which character(s) do you think will be your favorite to write?
All of them? Probably Christopher the most, though. His personal journey has turned into a major component of the story and I’m looking forward to writing it.
What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
Getting home, preferably intact. Christopher wants to rescue Nina and get her home, and Nina wants to escape and get home. Matt is initially standing in their way, and then…
Where is your novel set?
America, probably last year. I’m still deciding on a location, but it’s most likely in a city, or across several cities.
How do your protagonists change by the end of the novel?
Oh boy. I’m tempted to use the River gif again. Christopher moves from hate to forgiveness, which is probably the biggest thing after the main quest. Nina is shown what the world is like beyond the newspaper articles she reads. She is shown what she really wants to be fighting for and against and comes out more determined than ever, but also more cautious.
What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
Forgiveness and Hate. Generosity and Greed. Justice and Injustice. I want my readers to feel the depths to which hatred can plunge you and the unconditionalness of forgiveness. I want them to know that they are never alone, even in their darkest hour. I want them to be inspired, if that makes sense.
And there you have it.
Are you doing Camp NaNo? What’s your novel about? Have you ever had the plot that wouldn’t. stop. evolving?