Monday, October 26, 2015

Final Preparations for NaNoWriMo 2015

The concept for my next novel has changed (and hopefully improved) dramatically since my last post about preparing for this year's NaNoWriMo. I suppose that's why they start the official planning period a whole month beforehand.

Whereas I had intended for my 50,000 word novel to be a rewrite that was more-or-less completely loyal to last year's concept, I discovered while outlining that there was barely any sustainable conflict inherent in the idea. You see, I wanted to write about a kid with problems going to another world that seemingly has everything he ever wanted, only to realize that the things he thinks are most important to him can't really make him happy. That all sounded well and good until I sat down and tried to actually plot out the novel. I suppose someone (more talented than I) could make that work, but I humbly realized that I could not.

With time until NaNoWriMo only growing shorter, I had to rethink everything.

I shed away every bit of the plot that I thought I wanted to write until I was left with only the core of my idea. I then brainstormed a whole new story around that core, one which had ghosts of the original idea, but was otherwise entirely new:
"Thirty-something year old Gideon Bradfield has won an all-inclusive dream vacation for two to the world-renowned and extremely exclusive Somnium Domus tropical resort. Though his wife's demanding job has prevented her from joining him on the trip, Gideon still hopes to take the opportunity to work on rekindling their marriage. On the flight to the island resort, Gideon meets Christopher, a charismatic, intelligent, and angelically handsome young man also taking a solo vacation to the famous resort. The two become fast friends, and the resort is everything Gideon could have ever dreamed of, but over time things begin to sour; his wife won't answer or return any of his calls, he's haunted by familiar but strange lucid nightmares every night, and he just can't shake the feeling that there's something not right about the Somnium Domus. What he uncovers will make him question his vacation, his marriage, his new friend, and his life itself."
Those of you who read the original synopsis may see the parallels here; Christopher is essentially the same character as Chris from the original synopsis, after all, and honestly even the plot is pretty similar when you boil it down. What's different is the focus. By metaphorically shifting my perspective two inches to the left, I was able to see a plethora of possibilities that I was blind to before. Sometimes two inches make all the difference.

I've successfully crafted a plot outline and will be spending this last week of preparation fleshing out my character and location outlines. NaNoWriMo begins this coming Sunday, November 1st. Though I'll be busy writing the novel, I'll try to blog at least once during November with a progress report.

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