NaNoWriMo 2018 Diary | Prep Week 2

(Two updates in one week! Madness! Technically, Monday’s update was for last week. From here out, my NaNo updates will happen on Fridays.)

Over the past few days, “almost definitely” has turned into “definitely”—I’m going to be working on Violet Lane this November. I’m not going to wait until the first of the month to start writing, but I am going to aim for 50,000 words during NaNo itself.

My prepwork is moving along nicely again. I’ve spent this week on character work, figuring out exactly who these people are and why they exist in the story. It’s been incredibly helpful; developing original characters with unique voices has always been a challenge for me, and it’s only something I really started to feel confident about when I was preparing for last year’s NaNo. (Which means, of course, that I had no idea what I was doing the first time I tried writing this particular group of people.)

And it’s especially important in this story. It’s an ensemble piece, with multiple POV characters, one of whom is… let’s call her ‘unreliable,’ to be polite. I need to know who these people are, and I need to know them well.

In retrospect, that’s why the first two attempts at telling this story didn’t quite work. In both cases, I knew the plot, and I knew my main character, but the rest of it—all the other characters, the world—was a mystery. And so, the first time, I wound up with a finished draft that was… ok, but it needed far too much work to turn it into something good. The second time, I barely made it through the first chapter before I realized it wasn’t working.

This time, I know the plot. I know my main character. I know what everyone’s trying to accomplish. Hell, I know the theme, and that’s not something I bother with in a first draft, ever.

I still have a few characters to flesh out (like I said: ensemble), but I’m getting there. If everything goes according to plan, I should be able to start writing by the end of next week.

(Don’t forget: I’m always looking for writing buddies! Feel free to add me, and, if you’d like, say ‘hi!’ via NaNo mail. I’m usually available for motivation or commiseration.)