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.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Preparing for NaNoWriMo 2015

Ahoy people who read my blog!

Last year I said this about this year's NaNoWriMo:
"Perhaps next year I will take NaNoWriMo much more seriously, and really dedicate myself to meeting the 50,000 word goal. I can't help but feel incredibly accomplished and enthusiastic about the future, and I wonder what novel I might be working on next year."
By some miracle I've actually gone and done this. That's right. I'm back in — deeper than ever.

I may have failed in the past — twice, no less — but this year will be different! This year I shall write a 50,000-word novel in only thirty days! Huzzah! I've already started filling out character sheets, drafting up an outline of the plot, and brainstorming every possible facet of my future novel's structure, composition, style, tone, and all that other cool stuff. This is happening! For real this time!

What's my novel about, you ask? Well it's actually going to be a complete rewrite from scratch of the novel I attempted to write last year. Why, you ask? Because it started to suck since it was written completely by the seat of my pants (not sure what that phrase means, will have to look up later). Also I'm pretty sure that writing entirely in first-person present tense is proof of hell on Earth.

So here's my synopsis for the novel, which I hope is proof in itself that my writing has improved since last year and this novel actually stands a chance of, you know, not sucking:
"Overburdened with the stress of school and the recent deaths of several of his loved ones, 17-year-old Thomas crosses paths with a mysterious twenty-something-year-old man named Chris who is the spitting image of everything Thomas wishes he was - unquestionably attractive, muscular, confident, easy-going, and adventurous. Amazingly, Chris takes an interest in young Thomas and offers him the opportunity to enter into his world - a proposal which Thomas accepts, and one which turns out to be much more literal than he ever imagined.
Inexplicably transported to another dimension where youth is eternal and every one of your dreams is easily within reach, Thomas must choose between living the fantasy forever or struggling through his brief existence in reality, all while learning to grieve, love, grow up, and above all, live."
So yeah, I had some trouble picking a genre for that to fall under out of the given options on the website. I ended up picking "other."

So why am I taking time away from writing my years-in-progress novel for this one instead? I dunno, I feel like this event deserves its own story. One that's designed to be written in 30 days. My other novel needs to go at its own pace. Something like that.

I'm so excited!