We are almost at the mid-point of Camp NaNoWriMo and I thought I would tell you a little bit about what I am writing.
(Please note I am not great at writing synopsises...synopsi?)
Earth has been occupied.
Those who have not been enslaved and shipped off world have been forced to the cold reaches of the Earth where their oppressors, the Kartilli, will not follow. When Alice's watch-shift spots new humans arriving, the first in years, the fragile harmony of the Hope Pen community is disrupted. As Hope Pen strives to integrate the new batch of survivors, an unexpected strain on their resources, Alice finds herself the guardian of an 11 year old elective-mute hell bent on ensuring she knows he does not want her help.
But they aren't the only new arrivals.
When an enemy ship crashes nearby Alice realizes that there may be those among the Kartilli who resist the orders of their superiors. Are they the only hope for human survival or could she be delivering the last of humanity into the enemy's hands?
I don't remember where I got this idea from. I have been working on it since 2010 or 2011, writing snippets here or there along the way and really focused on it in 2013. I remember the first scene I wrote. I was sitting on my futon-bed, watching the snow fall outside, in the dark. I remember typing the first sentence and knowing instantly that I had to tell Alice's story. A lot of it came from thinking about myself- if I were the survivor of an alien occupation what would I do? How would I find my place in a world shot to hell? The main character, Alice, is a teacher. I chose that particular profession because of the old adage "write what you know" and I know teaching and working with children. I'm also pretty sure that it would be the one skill I'd have to contribute meaningfully to a struggling society in any way.
I've been very excited and 'into' writing this story, which is a nice change from the struggle that was last November. So much so I have been neglecting my blogs and other writing- but hopefully it will be worth while. I am highly motivated this month to get this novel completed and ready for some beta reading!
Initially I was going to write an extended ending for my NaNoWriMo 2013 Manuscript working titled as '42 Days'. This will not be its final title- especially since I removed the reason I had titled it that way in the first place! However, after I started I quickly realized that what I really needed to do was re-write it, start to finish. There are scenes and snippets I'm keeping, especially near the beginning which have had the benefit of being rewritten several times already over the years, but I'm also writing a lot on new material. Probably 80-90% of what I have been working on this month has been new material bridging the old material I had. When I wrote the bulk of it in 2013 I hadn't yet discovered outlining . It's a choppy mess with lots of random scenes that need stringing together. A lot of the character and plot arcs needed fleshing out so that they flowed more logically in the rough time line I have set.
Having the old material on hand, though, has been super helpful and provided a lot of 'jumping off' points for me. I've scrapped a lot (most) of the work I did in 2013 but have kept the plot points and most poignant pieces of dialogue. This has allowed me to really pump out a good deal of work. I had to revise my word count goal, as within the first few days I had already exceeded 10% of it. It only felt far to increase it, as well, because I'm not working 100% on new material like I would be in November NaNoWriMo's, and I know some of my cabin mates are attempting that very task. I am tempted to raise it even further yet, but will wait until I am closer to my end goal to decide.
I wanted to share a bit of my story with you today, as well as the update. This is the opening paragraph to my novel. All work, obviously, is mine and can not be reproduced without my written consent.
Alice Ketcher pulled the hood of her parka tighter around her face, the fur lining tickling her cheek. Last check the temperature had dropped well below negative thirty-five Celsius. Despite all her layers the fierce wind cut through, biting at her skin. She flexed her hands in her thick mittens, rubbing them together to keep warm and peered out into the blowing snow. Beyond the white was darkness. There was no way to tell what time it was and it wasn't worth the frostbite to check her watch, tucked safely under the cuff of her mitt, to see how much longer remained in her shift.
What where they expecting her to see? She wouldn't know if something was out there until she was standing face to face with it. She leaned over the rail, holding her hood closed with one hand against the snow and wind and peered down at what she knew was a six story drop. There was nothing to see but snow; faintly illuminated by some unseen lights on the side of the building. It looked solid, as if she could step out onto that blanket of white and walk on it. She would, of course, plummet to her death. If she couldn't see the ground how was she supposed to see if something was sneaking up on them?
A sudden gust nearly toppled her. Forgetting her hood she gripped the rail for dear life.
How is your Camp NaNoWriMo adventure going?