NaNoWriMo Eve is upon me and I find myself in a rather curious predicament. I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks talking up the novel-writing extravaganza on twitter, podcasts (okay, just the one), and via a prep article on murmur. There is no question in my mind that anyone who thinks it would be fun to write a novel during the month of November can accomplish it.
For some reason, I feel like I’m not going to get through it this year. For the past few days, I’ve been blaming my story. It feels weak, and I’m worried it’s not going to be enough to propel me though the month or that once I cross over to the not-real world, that I’ll be completely stuck without motivation or direction. I’m worried that it’s going to feel cliched or that it’ll have some sort of “direct to disney family movie night” feel to it. I don’t know. It’s not like I’m expecting it to be the next Neverending Story, really.
Here’s the gist of the idea: A 12-year-old city-dwelling girl’s mother is remarrying and they’ll be moving out to the suburbs. She doesn’t want to go. She wants her father (who is either a jet-setter or works for doctors without borders) to come back and taker her with him, but he cannot. While packing (i think), she discovers a letter from her paternal grandmother (or a collection of letters from her father?) that her mother has kept from her. It also contains a charm of some sort. Furious that her mother has kept this from her, she runs (with her adorable great dane that her father gave her 4 years earlier) to her favorite spot in the park to mull things over. While mulling, a strange raccoon-like creature snatches the charm and runs off with it. She follows, only to go “through the rabbit hole” of sorts and into a crazy fantasy world where the first thing she notices is that her faithful companion is now a talking horse. Adventure quickly follows (the specifics and the initial motivation are still a mystery to me – as is the look and feel of the world). By the end of the tale she learns that she’s from this world (and probably royalty) but that she must return to the “normal” world and go about her business at least for the bulk of every year. Until the next book anyway. The mother may or may not meet up with her at some point. There will likely be a semi-shady character who ends up being her uncle (the bald guy from those dreams), but beyond that, most of the fantasy world is undefined. It’s clearly “real”, though. Not like Oz or Fantasia, where it’s possible the kid is just batshit. I think I want her to end up rescuing her father in some fashion, but that seems a bit too “Golden Compass” for me.
….You know what? I think I feel better. I don’t think it’s the story anymore, or at least, after writing it out, the story sounds kind of interesting. Maybe I’m just afraid of writing a “young adult” novel because that means i can’t get all sexy and curse-y and violent…y. I should probably see what my friend the internet has to say about writing novels for a teen audience to set my mind at ease and go flesh out that outline and such.
Like last year, I’ll try to post a few times a week to let you know how I’m doing. No staying up past midnight to get a jump start on this year. I’m still recovering from a rather brutal cold and my stamina just isn’t up to speed yet.