I’m not sure how many of my readers/followers know this, but I also love to write. Well, that’s quite obvious Jane as you like to blog regularly, I hear you say. I know that you sillies, but I mean one day I would love to publish my own novel.
I recently completed my first ever NaNoWriMo, and managed to hit the 50k words – something I thought I would never be able to achieve as I always have little random plot ideas buzzing around in my head but I never used to know how to get them out – coherently – onto paper (okay, onto Word..) until I managed to beat my fear of never being able to write a story from beginning to end until I won NaNo.
Sure, I hated how it ended up. Because somewhere in writing it, among all the rush of trying to keep up with my daily goal of 1,700 words…I lost the direction I wanted to head in. I rushed parts, I wrote clumsily and looking back on it now…..I wonder how exactly did I manage to spell so many words I know how to spell….so wrong? Okay, my brain was fried 75% of the time so I get some sort of free pass. But now I’m in the editing process of it. I decided that I wanted to re-work the entire novel completely. I changed the setting from some made up town with -ville plonked on the end of it in America to the place where I live, and have been driven* (mainly dragged out of the house) around since 2008: Cornwall. I mean, I know nothing about America other than everyone loves New York, LA…and that NASCAR is nowhere near as awesome as F1. Sorry guys. (Also, I’m rubbish at trying to use US English compared to my own British English…)
Plus the fact, I’ve never been anywhere in the world apart from England, travelled a few hours through France and been to Spain several times. I’m hardly someone who should be writing a story set in a country I know and probably will know hardly anything about. I’m someone who spends months (the last few years) not stepping out of the house because I just find it hard to fit in and feel comfortable in my environment.
So I decided, instead of rebelling against the whole “write what you know” – I went and listened to it and it helped a bunch. I still have my made up town plonked in Cornwall (based on Padstow), I still have my characters, and my plot. And I’m actually having a lot more fun writing it. I changed the perspective from first to third – I feel more comfortable when I can write in a way that lets me see everything is going on. Especially as my plot really needs several different angles on it. When I wrote my NaNo originally, I found it so hard to keep the plot moving in the way I wanted it because I was stuck with my main protagonist and at times, she was left out of the important things so it was super hard to put the puzzle I had created together.
So I started re-writing it with a new look on my own novel. Some fresher ideas, a better direction, a better sense of who my characters are and what I want to do with them and far better locations. Locations that I know and have been to numerous times. Locations that I don’t even have to bring up google images for because I’ve got my own photographs of them and I remember how they look and feel to walk in. I still have a long journey with this novel as I know because this is a complete re-write from start to finish that it’s considered a rough draft again and after I’ve finished that – I’ll have to keep re-editing and re-drafting until my fingers fall off or my brain falls out of my skull but I honestly don’t mind because I love writing and I’ve never felt so creative and free to explore the topics in my novel. Especially as a person who has a father that was adopted, I can explore how that can make someone feel whilst creating a completely different world and environment around them.
Below, I’ll post the original synopsis of my NaNo that was on my profile there so you can get a small sense of what the original plot/direction was compared to the newer one.
Earth is about to be swallowed into one huge sink-hole and adopted sixteen year old Pippa’s perfect life is about to be dragged down with it. Alongside her best friend Ethan, it’s their task to save an extremely over-populated planet Earth in 2040, leading Pippa to re-evaluate her life and the choices she makes.
I looked at that alongside my original rough draft and thought “nah Jane, that doesn’t sound like something you’d even want to read ever.” I’ve still kept it, but now I’m using it as a base of what I don’t want in my re-worked version. Don’t get me wrong, there are some scenes I would like to use from it just in a different way but overall..what a bunch of crap it was. Which I don’t mind admitting, because everyone’s first ever drafts of a novel are stereotypically crap. Am I right?
So below is the newer synopsis and I’ve dropped the whole 2040. It was too far-fetched for me to feel like I could realistically write such a period so now it’s set somewhere between 2029-2030. It’s not too far future but it’s near enough that I can feel that I can keep a lot of locations the same with some more wear and tear etc.
Pippa is your ordinary sixteen year old from Cornwall. She has attitude and hates everything and anything to do with school. Pippa would much rather be hanging out with her cool, swanky and long term best friend Ethan. But Pippa has a secret. She’s adopted and she hasn’t told anyone that she knows. Not even Ethan.
Meanwhile, the Earth starts trembling on the North coast of Cornwall as a series of strange burning objects are seen in the sky. Shortly after, witnesses are reporting that sink holes are opening up. But no one can get close to them as a peculiar force is protecting them. But what is protecting it and why? Is Earth soon to be swallowed or is something more disturbing below the surface?
I like how this sounds better. It sounds like something I can and want to write. So I’m looking for some feedback for the first chapter to see if I should continue heading in this direction. It’s a novel aimed at a young adult audience and I hope that it doesn’t sound too dumb because I know that YA readers aren’t like that at all. In fact, they’re a lot more intelligent than people give them credit for considering the books out there now for YA readers are a lot more complex than many think. I want to give potential readers a sense of a main character (Pippa) that is already strong (instead of a character that is innocent then ends up being this super strong powerful character that can stand up to people…coughcough) and is free-willed (and simply doesn’t give a damn about anyone but herself at the start) and I want to unravel her. I want to pull her apart mentally with her secret. I want it to make her angry at her parents – adoptive and biological, I want it to create conflict inside her and with other people and see how she manages to cope with it in other situations and how it affects her by the end of the novel.
If you’d like to read an excerpt of it, the link is below and I’m sorry for such a long-winded post but I just really wanted to write about something different and something more personal to me than just another review. The cover is something I just put together for Wattpad randomly so it’s not that great and I doubt I’ll ever use it properly haha.
I hope you enjoy it and please let me know what you think whether it’s on WordPress or on Wattpad! Thank you for taking the time to read both this post and the excerpt!