Day: October 20, 2012

Preparing to Write My Story

NaNoWriMo coming up!

So as many of you know I am going to participate in the National Novel Writing Month challenge in which you must write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days of November.  It is something I have wanted to do for many years and believe me this year had a lot of excuses but I just decided to go for it anyway.    My twitter friend Abby and I have made a pact we would both finish or we have to do a polar bear plunge!  That’s motivation for you!

My story is one I’ve wanted to put to paper for some time.  It is based on my experiences in 2007 when I took the great leap of faith and quit my job.  I have written about that moment greatly on my blog but have always felt it had the inherent drama necessary for a good book- something along the lines of Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisenberg.

I will be adding a romance to the story which will be a lot of fun considering I’m a bit of an amateur in that department.  Hopefully I’ve seen enough romantic movies to make it believable.

A couple of challenges I have run into as I’ve outlined my piece.

1. How religious should I make the character?  Since it is my story it is hard to imagine not making the character religious.  My faith was a huge reason I took the leap of faith.  I knew for sure from God that it was the right thing to do.  Without that reassurance I may not have been so brave.   Not that it is going to be published by any means but I want my story to be as accessible as possible.  It seems so rare in modern literature that there is a character who is Christian without it being a ‘christian novel’.

2. How many characters to develop?  Well, I have 5 siblings, 2 parents, lots of friends etc but it seems too much so I’m tempted to make her an only child but maybe one or 2 sisters wouldn’t be too much to follow.  I also am morphing 2 of my former roommates personalities, Emily and Camille, into one roommate for the character.  You don’t want to make it too cluttered but also want to have enough drama for 50,000 words.

3.  The other challenge is to make a pretty dark time in my life real without making the character seem unlikable.  I was very unhappy at that time, even depressed, and I want to show that without having the character seem whining and annoying (which I’m sure I was at this time. Sorry friends). I’ve been thinking about Drop Dead Diva and how they take some tough things the character has been through (like dieing!) and still help it feel light and funny.  The whole reason that show works is because the characters are all so likeable.  The plots are kind of stupid but we don’t care because we like Jane so much.  I hope I can pull off that kind of likability while showing a relatable version of the workplace.

Tone is going to be a challenging thing to maintain in this story.  With panic attacks, anxiety and a lot of unhappiness I will have to work to keep the chicklit tone but I think it will be all the better for it.  (If you look at most chick lit it involves some kind of sadness, usually at the beginning, like a death, divorce, break up, infertility etc).  Wouldn’t it be the greatest thing if someone , someday read my story and thought- I’ve been there, I’ve dealt with that, let’s see how she does.  That ‘d be awesome!

4. Character names?  Because this is coming from real life I am having a hard time picturing the characters as anything else but their real names.  I’m using those for now but eventually I will have to give them different names because they are not accurate portrayals just inspired by true characters.   My sister had some good suggestions for choosing names.  Do you out there in cyberspace have any suggestions?

I’m really excited about writing my book.  I wish I could get started now.  I read my outline to my sister Anna and she liked it.  Hurray!  I am sure I will write a lot of it in the first week and then cool down a bit after that but it helps when you can type 120 words per minute touch type.

It will be so exciting when I get my certificate and it says ‘you have written a novel in a month’.  I will frame it!

I love a good deadline and challenge.  Makes me very happy.

So, who wants to read my book once it is done?  I might let a select few…

Think the whole process is a waste of time? (heard that from some) Check out this article with some reasons why to do NaNoWriMo