In 8 Days…

…the normal chaos of NaNoWriMo begins again.  This will be my ninth year and I couldn’t be more excited about it!  (I mean, first of all–wow, it’s my ninth year.  And second of all–well, it’s NaNo, I’m always excited for it.)

I’ve been working on my idea for this year’s NaNo novel and I thought I would share what I have thus far.  This general idea has been stewing for several months and I’m very excited to finally start writing it.  Its working title is The Apocalytes and here’s the clarity that has come out of the stew so far.

For years, the group sarcastically nicknamed as the Apocalytes predicted the end of the world every few months. While the first few times started a frenzy, now it’s just gotten old and the group began getting ignored. And it was during one of those predicted apocalypse days, while everyone went about their normal lives, that something finally did happen–explosions, fires, death. Half the country just wiped out with no idea why.

Sixteen-year-old Alissa Carter, by some miracle, happened to survive. The lone person of her family and friends to do so, as far as she knows. She’s one of the only survivors from her small Ohio suburb and, for a few weeks, survives as best she can. And then she’s found by a scouting group of survivors, who convince her to come back to safety within the confines of the city, where a number of survivors have taken up residence, hidden in an underground parking garage. It’s not safe, she’s told, for girls and women to wander around by themselves anymore. The Apocalytes staged their little end of the world for the purpose of starting over, building a new society, and they’re desperate to gain followers, particularly ones that can help them grow their new population.

But Alissa has never been one to hide away. They might not have contact with the other survivors. They might not know what the Apocalytes are planning or when they might strike next. But Alissa plans to help fight back, even if sacrifices have to be made in the process.

Alissa Carter– main character and narrator
 
Kane Thomas

Sarah Hart
 
Cooper Randall– one of the main antagonists

Lauren Randall

Writing Tuesday: The Voices in My Head

Tuesdays will be my day of talking about writing and the writing life. Thus, I name them WRITING TUESDAY. This will be my day of the week to talk about whatever it is I feel like talking about regarding writing…be it my writing, or something I read about writing. Maybe I’ll share some passages of WIPs. Who knows?

So, here’s my first Writing Tuesday post!

Last night, this conversation happened between me and one of my best friends…

Me: My character is going to hate me.
Tracy: Huh?
Me: She’s going to hate me. I’m killing off a ton of people.
Tracy: Okay…
Me: She’s never going to talk to me again.
Tracy: You do realize your characters aren’t real, right?

I’ve been told this about a thousand times by people who, well, aren’t writers. Because writers realize that, on some level, the characters are real. We know that we can’t always control what comes out of our characters mouths.

It’s like we have voices in our heads.

I learn new things about my various characters all the time. Right now, I’m writing the first draft of the sequel of the novel I’m about to send out. And I’ve learned some interesting new things about my characters over the last manuscript and a half.

1. One girl doesn’t deal with stress very well. And she’s slightly bi-polar most of the time.
2. Another girl can never keep her opinions to herself. Ever. Even when they’re arguing about life-or-death situations.
3. My protagonist can be an emotional wreck, but she can also be ridiculously intense and focused.
4. One of my protagonist’s best friends…yeah…he actually has a heart. Awwwww.

These things? Yeah, I didn’t know about them when I first created these characters. These are things I only ever found out because I let my characters control the story and say what they need to say.

I think this is one of the best things about being a writer–it’s like no matter how old we get, we can still have our imaginary friends.