If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me post TONS of tweets about how I’m writing a novel for NaNoWriMo, but I haven’t really said much about WHAT I’m writing. At the start of November, I wanted to link up to Paper Fury’s Beautiful Books NaNo post series, in which I’d share a little bit with you about my novel…but I’m a crazy person who planned to do this in addition to writing 1.6k+ words every day, regular blogging, keeping up with my reading, moving (that’s right, MOVING), balancing my work schedule, AND completing regular household/life responsibilities. Oh yeah, and I got the stomach flu (I’m not saying it was in the plan, but it happened).
So…I’m just now getting around to the first post in the series, even though most people are already starting the second one. Excuse me while I cringe at my own unreliability. Better late than never, I guess? Either way, here we go!
The short summary of my novel is that I’m writing an Alasaka-based sci-fi/mystery about a teenage girl who discovers she wasn’t told the full truth about her mother’s death 18 years ago. When FBI agents come poking around her little town asking questions about her mother, she learns her mother was an agent who went missing on a top secret government mission. You can find the full summary here. The working title is Operation Crossroads, but I’m not sure I’m in love with it (coming up with titles isn’t really one of my strengths. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!).
- How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
- I came up with the idea a little over a year ago while I was nannying. The house was clean and the toddler was napping, so there wasn’t really much for me to do. I had a notepad in my purse, so I got it out and started sketching to pass the time. I wound up drawing a girl with long dark hair and a serious face. From there, I made up a story about her.
- Why are you excited to write this novel?
- Confession Time: I wasn’t excited about this novel when I first started writing it a couple weeks ago. I was excited when I originally chose it to be my NaNo novel, and I was eager to get started in the months leading up to November. But then disaster struck: I came up with a different story idea I liked better. I knew the new idea would need a lot more time to ruminate before it’d be ready for NaNo, so I stuck with my original choice. I’ll admit, it took the wind out of my sails a little bit. But now that I’m well underway, I can feel all my original excitement coming back! Sci-fi/mystery is a step outside my comfort zone, so it’s fun to try to write something grounded in science rather than imagination.
- What is your novel about, and what is the title?
- See the quick summary above or the full summary here.
- Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)
- Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!
- I really like writing Ben. He has such a quirky sense of humor, and nothing phases him.
- What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
- Nuani wants to learn the truth of how her mother died (or if she might still be alive!), but the case has been cold for almost 20 years. New evidence comes up and she wants to help with the case, but it would mean defying her uncle, the only family she’s got.
- Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
- The teeny tiny village of Ruby, Alaska. It has 170 residents, a general store, a post office, and a B&B. The only way to get there is by boat or plane (it’s not connected to the Alaska highway system).
- What is the most important relationship your character has?
- That’s a tough one, because the story has Nuani exploring that exact question. She really wants to connect more with the memory of her mother, but she’s aware that trying to do so could alienate her uncle, who is convinced she should just let it go. She also develops a mentor-student relationship with Agent Russo, who used to work with her mother.
- How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
- Learning the truth about her mother forces Nuani to ask herself a lot of hard questions about her own nature and now much of her mother’s personality she inherited.
- What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
- The meaning and definition of family, personal identity, and nature vs nurture all come into play in really big ways. To be honest, I’m not sure yet how I want the reader to feel at the end of the story. I guess I’ll know when I get there! 🙂
- BONUS! Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
- Give yourself a target word count to reach every day, but work ahead whenever possible. I lost almost my entire second day of NaNo to sickness, but I was able to make up the difference the next day because I worked way ahead on the first day.
- When you feel burnt out from writing or are stuck on what to say next, do research! Look for potential names for future characters, writing advice on how to approach your themes, anything related to your book. It’ll keep you on task while giving your brain a chance to roam. It can also help to get you inspired again!
- Reward yourself for meeting goals. I like to say, “Ok, once I write another 1,000 words, I get to eat a cookie/make tea/watch a [short] youtube video/work on my blog for 10 minutes.”
That’s it, folks! Check back later this week for my #2 Beautiful Books post.
Are you doing NaNo too? If so, what’s your novel about?