Hello my fabulous and lovely friends. How’s things?
Today I thought I’d dive into my most favoritest time of the year – NaNoWriMo! If you don’t know what it is, basically every year a bajillion people take on the challenge of writing 50k or, basically, a short novel, in one month – November. You can read more about it here.
I am doing it this year, as I have for the past three or four – or however many – and, as every year, I am SO EXCITED about the book! You can read a synopsis on my user page here, but basically what you need to know is that it’s a YA fantasy retelling of Robin Hood from the perspective of “Maid Marian”, though her name is Giselle in my book. And I’m so happpyyyy to be writing this, since I’ve been thinking about it forever, but I’m also terrified, and I’ve learned that the best books to write during NaNo are the ones that terrify you because the speed helps eradicate the fear.
Anyways, that’s not the main point of this post. What is the point, is that to get ready, I’ve been doing a lot of freewriting. I’m still not one hundred percent sure where the right starting point is or what the main plots will be,so what I’ve been doing is filling one notebook page per day with my random thoughts and questions. I’m focusing on really developing the characters, so that out of their interactions with one another will arise the plot. I’m hoping that the better I develop this girl who was raised as a warrior and may need to allow herself to feel feminine in order to achieve her goal, and this soft-hearted prince terrified of inheriting his father’s madness and determined to defeat the brother who has always bested him, and this boy who once was a prince and now fancies himself a commoner, but may just be manipulating everyone to his own ends, will become so powerful and so real that they must take certain actions, and that these actions will create a story.
Maybe this will go horrible. It’s quite likely. But it also might not.
So here’s my suggestion to you, whether you plan on doing NaNo or you just are developing a current project: start from the present and work backward. Right now, she’s a princess in a castle with blood red walls. But what if she’s not a true princess? Where did she come from, then? What’s her history? How did she grow up? Why then? Why in that manner? Let the stories develop roots, and let the trunk and branches form naturally out of those roots, and see what it does for your story.
I’ll keep you posted on whether my story tree grows big and strong or shrivels up like Jonah’s bush.