NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up (and an Early Win)

With November almost at an end, I am finally able to return to my regular (semi-regular?  occasional?) blogging schedule.  If it seemed like a long hiatus for you all, I’m sorry.  For me this month seemed to blow by, as it always has since I’ve started embarking on one of the craziest creative writing marathons out there.

For the first time in a long time–think my first Nano–I somehow managed to finish a few days early.  And for the first time EVER, I actually finished my manuscript during November, instead of a few months or a few days after.

So, since I’ve done enough dancing around the subject, let me dive right in and recap this NaNoWriMo.

I mentioned way back in October that my task this month was to rewrite and expand upon last year’s honors thesis Between Two Lives.*  Outlining that story was a big enough pain in the neck, and because of the time it took me to develop the plot, figure out where to stretch and build upon what I already had, I figured the first draft would be significantly longer than it was.

I suppose you can guess where this is going.

Even with all the subplots I added on to expand the story, and the minor character development I tried to do, the novel ended up being just over 50k.  Now, it’s not as though I feel like I should have written more because that’s what I usually do.**  I feel like I should have written more because there are three subplots that completely fall by the wayside by the end of the story, as well as about six characters who do the same.

What I’m saying is that even though I finished early, and even though the draft is more solid than my first drafts usually are, there’s still a lot of work to be done.  I’m already considering cutting one character, because it’s either that or find some compelling way for him to spend his time that still relates to the protagonist.  Not to mention that I definitely need to resolve things a little more between a few of the minor characters, as well as actually implement the ending I had planned for one of the more serious subplots.

Considering this draft still needs to sit for a bit, then go to my betas, as well as endure several rounds of punishment–I mean, edits–at my hands, it will be a long time before it sees the light of day.  That being said, I sincerely hope you all get the chance to read it someday.  Because I’ve already been working on this manuscript for over a year now, I’ve developed quite the soft spot for it.  Category difficulties aside, I hope it does manage to find a home at some point. ***

For those of you who did Nano this year, did you win?  Even if you didn’t win, do you still plan to work on your story?  And for those of you who didn’t participate, I’m still curious to see how you spent your November.  🙂

*By the way, I’m in the market for a new title.  Between Two Lives was basically the working title I put up with so my thesis wouldn’t be listed as “Untitled” by Ellen Rozek in the university library.  If any of you who’ve read this or heard me talk about it, or even read the summary on the page titled ‘My Novels’ have a better idea, please do let me know.

**My rough drafts are usually well over 100k.  I’m incredibly long-winded when I’m in the ‘slopping words down on paper’ stage.

***Much as I hate to admit it, BTL falls more into the sort of existent New Adult category than it does into YA or adult.  I’m hoping that by the time I have a story worthy of querying, some of the issues involving NA books, who should rep them, and where/how they should be sold and shelved will have been resolved.



The Next Big Thing

I know, I know.  I said I wasn’t going to blog this month, if at all possible.  I lied?

It was my full intention not to, but I was tagged in a blogging meme by the lovely Stephanie Allen and figure it might be worth a little procrastination to talk about The Recruited, which is currently the only one of my novels in a semi-decent place.

1.  What is the working title of your book?

THE RECRUITED.  That’s basically been the title since I was able to come up with one.  It kind of grew on me.

2.  Where did the idea for the book come from?

This was so long ago I almost don’t remember, but I can say that the characters were the ones who spawned the basic premise.  When I started developing the idea, I had two people.  One was a woman in her early twenties who fought terrorists for her government.  One was a fifteen year old girl who had just killed her boyfriend.  Somehow I got the idea to combine these two women and even out their age.  Eighteen-year-old Naomi, a convicted murderer with a job hunting terrorists for the government, was born that way, and the rest of the plot sort of spun itself from there.

3.  What genre does your book fall under?

YA thriller.

4.  Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I am the last person in the world anyone should ask to select actors/actresses, so I’m going to have to give the cop-out answer and say that I have no idea.

5.  What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Recruited by the government to help fight Renegade terrorists, Naomi must keep her growing friendship with a gang member a secret from her employers–and the Renegades themselves–if both of them are to survive.

6.  Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I would love for it to be represented by an agency, but since I’m querying, that’s fairly obvious.

7.  How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

If I remember correctly, I started in September of 2009, did the majority of the project during National Novel Writing Month, and finished right before I went back to school for second semester in January of 2010.  I believe that equals about four months.

8.  What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter is similar, in that they both deal with girls hunting terrorists, even though the character motivations of Carter’s protagonist and Naomi are pretty different.  In terms of the guy and girl coming together from two very different lifestyles, there are definite similarities to Marie Lu’s Legend.  However, I’m not 100% sure that counts because Legend is a dystopian and though THE RECRUITED bears similarities to a dystopian, I really don’t think it quite fits the bill.

9.  Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’m going to sound like such a paranoid weirdo saying this, but as a huge fan of the TV show Prison Break when it aired, I was fascinated with the idea of characters constantly looking over their shoulders because of some unseen but incredibly ominous threat.  That was very much the feel I tried to create with THE RECRUITED.

10.  What else about your book might pique a reader’s interest?

I say this as someone who is pretty familiar with YA as a genre, but my novel isn’t like anything I’ve seen out there right now.  (Here’s hoping I haven’t committed some massive error claiming that, but from what I’ve seen, it’s fairly true.)  It takes the modern issue of terrorism and spins it in a new, and I hope, terrifying direction.  Plus, the two most major characters like each other despite not trusting each other very much at all.  Who can resist that?  😉

I don’t really have anyone to tag, but if anyone stumbles across this, feel free to give it a shot.