Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What to do about NaNo?

It's difficult to get back into the swing of things this week. I'm running late, too -- I need to do a lot of DAZ work today. Wisely, I did a bunch of writing after midnight before I went to bed, so I'm doing okay there for today. Sometimes I count after midnight words on the day before if I haven't been to bed yet. But NaNo is coming up, so I need to get back into the 'actual day' count again anyway. And it will help out today.

Touched by the Wild is going pretty well. I still keep feeling as though I'm missing something here, but at least it feels closer. I'll get through this version, and unless I come up with some drastic change, the next version will just be an edit and additional material rather than a rewrite. Though, if it sits for a few years, it might get a complete rewrite again. I can't guess at this point.

Here is something I posted at FM yesterday... just to give people some idea of how things are going for NaNo!

I have not decided on a NaNo novel for this year. I have a few partially finished outlines and some ideas that haven't even gotten that far, and once I finish the current book (this week, I hope!), I'm going to go back to work on the other material. There are, I think, five possibilities for NaNo. I don't know if I will do more than one novel this year, so right now I'm just trying to decide on one to make certain that I have at least a basic outline and worldbuilding done in time.

Living at the Edge of the World -- Contemporary YA novel about a high school student who finds herself under federal protection and shipped off to a small town in the sand hills area of Nebraska after her mother (an international reporter) is kidnapped. The change from New York, plus the pressure of not knowing what happened to her mother and step-father causes serious problems, along with the casual harassment by the local teens who have never really dealt with an outsider before in their class.

This would be a relatively easy one to do... and for that reason I think I'll hold it for the second book if I do two this year. It's also likely to be fairly short. I have not done any outline work for it, but I think I can do a line or two per chapter and not have a real problem.

Broken Journey -- Science fiction. A group of 'sleepers' went into stasis on Earth, knowing they would not awake again until the ship they are on arrives at a viable new world, which could be hundreds of years in the future. However, when the leader of the group awakes, she finds herself looking into the face of a stranger -- and she immediately knows something has gone wrong. She learns that the ship was attacked and damaged in flight, that some of the sleepers were awakened then, and eventually, with the help of other aliens, they found a world. One generation died on the ship and there have been three more generations since they came to the world. And now things are going bad.

I have a partial outline for this one and a lot of ideas, but I haven't been able to pull it all together yet. I would really like to do a science fiction novel, though, and this one seems the best idea.

I'm Not Who You Think -- Contemporary YA mystery. A young man is shot when the place he works is robbed, and he has no memory of who he was... or what happened. The next year, after he returns to school, he's faced with problems dealing with family and former friends, as well as trouble with someone who doesn't want him to remember.

I've had this one as an outline for a few years, but I could never really get a feel for it until I recently thought of two things -- first, that the main character could be male rather than female (don't know why that seemed to work better...) and that when he was shot, he recognized someone, and they're now worried when he does start to remember things again.

Draw the Line -- This is a very complex science fiction tale, and though I've been working on background material for it for nearly a year now, I don't think I'm going to be ready to tell it by November. It's the story of an abandoned alien space station that has recently been found and partially repopulated by humans and three different alien groups. That station itself is also a 'character' in the book, doing things for reasons no one else understands. There is one human who has accidently made a connection to the station, which has left him mistrusted by just about everyone.

This book has multiple POV characters and four cultures, so the amount of work needed to do it properly is pretty intensive. I've gotten a lot of it, and I might push to get the rest... but it depends on how the rest of the work goes between now and November.

In the Shadow of Giants -- Sci-Fantasy. This one is a long shot. Back the first time I started the 2YN classes, I thought I would go through it with the rest of the people, and I came up with an idea that I really liked. Unfortunately, it got too hectic to go beyond the first few weeks of classes. I tried again the next year and didn't even get as far as the year before. I stopped trying to take part after that... but the very basic idea of the story has still been sitting there in my brain. In the far future, a member of the Chinese Gods kidnaps a member of the Norse Gods, and Odin -- known as Dion now -- must try to pull together the old team, who have scattered to the stars. The worst problem is drawing in Koil -- Loki -- who is not in the least bit interested in another go at being the fall guy for them.

The problems with this one is pretty obvious -- lots of pre-work needed on the various gods, and creating the culture in which they live and work. I think this one is going to have to wait until next year because I just can't see where I'll have time to do a lot of mythology studies between now and then.

Oh and let's not forget this, which I wrote up for a workshop on query letters for Vision:

Mark Carter should never have followed the ghost of Allisia, his murdered wife, down a dead end street.

Two years after the shocking death of his wife, Mark has finally put aside his grief, sold his home, packed away his wedding pictures, and taken a new job. At twenty-five, he's even found a new romance. Then, on a stormy afternoon, he sees the ghostly apparition of Allisia jogging along the road where she had died. In a frenzy of shock and grief, he leaps from the car and runs after her... and into a perilous world of shadows and ghosts, truths and deceptions.

Mark has stumbled into a world that parallels his own, and there he learns that his wife was not really human and is not fully dead, but rather is trapped in the area between worlds, where dangers he could never have imagined stalk her -- and now hunt him as well, as the link back to the world of light.

He also learns of Allisia's part in a plot to invade his world, but that she had defected and is now paying the price for her love of him. Uncertain whom he can trust in this new world, and learning he might become trapped as well, he still joins forces with her to fight back her former commander and defeat the dark forces bent on invasion. Their success is bittersweet, however, since Allisia can't come back with him, and he must leave the shadow lands or risk being the key that opens the doors for others.

Dead End Street is a completed urban fantasy novel of 96,500 words. The book has potential for additional stand-alone novels featuring Mark, his dead wife and the trouble brewing between the two worlds.

Haven't written that one, of course. I think I'd like to.

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cherylp said...

LOL! Hey, it's your own dang fault for having all these cool ideas and the ability to turn out multiple books a year.

Sarah said...

My favourit is the last idea, that of the non-dead woman :-)

I'm still not sure I'll be doing the NaNo this year, a lot of things goign on in my life at the mo, but if I can, I think I'll work on the sinopsys of an entire cycle of YA novels :-)