NaNoWriMo 2012 – Here It Comes

I can’t believe it’s only a couple days before I leave for B.C.! I’ve got all my shift trades in to make sure I have the days off, and I have littel travel sizes of toiletries, and a lint roller. I finally found my good flat iron! Can’t wait, getting nervous and excited. But in the meantime….

It’s that time of year again, and this year will be year seven for me. I’m fairly confident in my ability to make it to 50k this year – I have two weeks of vacation booked in November, so while it’s never a piece of cake, there shouldn’t be too much stopping me from making it.

As usual, my screen name is Lindenfoxcub, for anyone who wants to friend me.

And this year, I’m changing gears. It’s been a very very long time since I’ve continued something longer than one book. The only one so far, really, is my first work, which I had figured to be three books worth when I wrote it, was really only around 130k total. God knows what it would have been revised though. Granted, it was all but unsalvageable. There were a couple of characters and concepts I’ve pulled out and put into other novels, but the first novel itself will never get revised.

Anyway, this year, I’m doing a sequel – the sequel to The Eyelet Dove, no less. ‘Dove was originally planned as a standalone. Or rather, it was originally a short story, believe it or not, those of you out there who have beta read this thing for me. But then Michel showed up and lured me into a novel. ‘Dove stands alone as it is now, as a single novel, but there’s a bit of a hook at the end – and open door so to speak, hinting that there’s more to come.

The sequel will be titled “Redwing”, and it will be a loose sequel. I hadn’t thought to write a sequel at all because the two most central characters, Etienne and Claire; their stories were told, they went through their character development, and found their satisfying ending. There was one character whose subplot doesn’t get resolved – not in a happy way, anyway – but that’s life.

So what would the story be in a sequel and what characters would I use to tell it? Ideas mulled in my head, new characters appearing, and I realized what the sequel would have to be. It will pick up more or less where ‘Dove left off, but with an almost entirely new cast of point of view characters. The Admiral will return as a point of view, but that will be the only one. Claire and Etienne will be around, just not central. Instead, they’ll be supporting the new characters with new stories to tell. And heckling. Lots of heckling, and dramatic irony. I love me my dramatic irony.

The other way I’m changing gears is in preparation. For some time I’ve found success in writing a loose outline before I start writing. Just a bunch of scenes with the big events, and some connecting scenes, just so I don’t lose my way, or have to think too hard to get back on track if I’ve sidetracked. Then I revised ‘Dove, and hacked that wreck of a first draft to pieces and sewed it back together with 3/4 new parts. There was a lot of rethinking and reworking the outline that went into that revision, and I started thinking, as I started drafting my outline, is that thinking that I can do before I start, without hobbling my creativity? And I think I can. I think the problem with that draft was that I hadn’t thought through the logistics of a lot of things, or worked out a lot of the relationships in the story. I’m starting to think in those terms more fluently now; learning to use relationships and character motivations more to drive the plot, and I think now that I’ve learned it, I can apply it to the novel on the first draft, rather than on revision.

I know Nano is all about spewing crap all over the page, and believe me, it’s still going to be crap. But with just a little luck, it’ll be crap with a little bit more solid structure that isn’t going to have to be rebuilt from the ground up this time. Crossing my fingers here that experience has brought me wisdom.


6 responses to “NaNoWriMo 2012 – Here It Comes

  1. Hi Lindsay. Sounds like you’re on the right track with this outline thing. I think it provides the discipline of a strategic plan by reminding a writer to stick to the story arc. The Big Scenes become tools to advance your characters’ stories and not the point in and of themselves. Of course I am saying all this without having access to your writing so hopefully I’m not off base.

    Have a ball in BC and don’t forget to dip your toe in the Pacific Ocean. Having said that; In my experience I have found the Atlantic Ocean to be a bit wetter.

  2. Hi Lindsay the name you gave “Lindenfoxcub” I assume was for Wattpad if I am correct was not there to follow you. I tried it out to follow you but NADA. Oh well let me know please if I got it wrong so I can follow along. Thank Dawn
    Lady Dawn from Wattpad.

    • I’m not actually on Wattpad 😛 That userid is for the website that I linked to in the post. There’s an FAQ on the site, but basically thousands of writers around the world sign up on that site and the goal is to write 50 000 words in the 30 days of november. On the site, you can friend people and then on your front page, their current word count will show up so you can compete with them and cheer one another on.

  3. Hi, I like your outline idea. I am trying that also this year. Other years I have utterly failed. lol But with my plays, I always seem to have an outline of some sort so this year I worked one up and decided on a tentative ending to aim for.

    Your positiveness is very encouraging. So good times with this year’s project. Writing is a fun thing.

    Are you a part of a writing circle or anything ?

    I am RobRiddell37 in nanowrimo this year.

    smiles . . .

    • I’m part of a couple of writing circles, there’s the Winnspec group that started recently, and organizes meetings on, and also the Whodunnit writing group that meets monthly at the Whodunnit mystery book store, on lilac street. The mystery group is interesting because they’re better established, and pick up on some of the macro stuff that newer authors tend to not consider.

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