Tomorrow begins my favorite time of year.
National Novel Writing Month! Or as I often refer to it: NaNoWriMo.
For those who haven’t already got wind of my November obsession, NaNoWriMo is a personal challenge for any and all writers to write a novel in 30 days. To be more specific, 50,000 words (because let’s be honest, since Everlasting, I’m never going to write a novel as short as 50K. I tried and it’s just not physically possible anymore). This is my fourth year participating and I can hardly contain my excitement! But some of you might be wondering…why? Why do I enjoy this intense writing challenge SO much?
Throughout next month, I hope to blog about my progress as well as how I write during NaNoWriMo (my writing environment, writing buddies/supporters, what I listen to, etc.). Until then, I’ll try to explain what’s so compelling about NaNo in the first place.
There are several reasons, but the main one is the motivation. Whether or not I reach 50,000 words in one month, the excitement that fills me as I outline in October and the push it gives me to keep writing despite writing blocks or lack of inspiration is what I enjoy experiencing year after year. There’s something so thrilling about planning my next big project for November and getting it ready in time. Writing a good half of my novel during November is just so fun and reaching the 50K word mark is such a fulfilling accomplishment.
Another reason I love NaNo is the community. Each year, more and more people join the NaNoWriMo “family” and I have more and more friends to encourage/be encouraged by. When I first started doing NaNo, I had maybe one friend nearby who was also doing it. Now, I have so many friends, near and far, who can help push me to the finish line! It’s so much more fun to do something like this with other people. I also love how encouraging my family is to ask how my words are coming, to remind me that I need to write and who understand when I’m at my computer all day that I’m not trying to ignore them. Even now, both my sisters have joined the NaNo wagon!
The first year I participated in 2013, I wrote the bulk of Everlasting, finishing it in January of the following year. In 2014, I wrote the first half of The Moonrose Sisters (tentative title); last year, I wrote half of Bridget Returns. This year, I am so thrilled to announce that I am writing…
…a prequel to Everlasting! A book I am currently calling Endeavoring.
When I first finished Everlasting a few years ago, I had no intention of writing another book in that world (much like what happened with Bridget’s Journey and Bridget Returns). Everlasting had always been just one story. But the idea of a prequel popped into my head (I think from Mom, but I can’t remember exactly) soon after I finished writing and by the time I was preparing Everlasting for publication last year, I started putting some ideas together. After deciding officially that Endeavoring would be my next NaNoWriMo novel after Bridget Returns, I let the characters sit in my head for a year. When I finished writing Bridget Returns a month ago, I started plotting, character sketching and some major outlining. Last week, I finished the foundation of the plot, all the character sketches and most of the outlining. I plan to finish my outline this week as I start…WRITING!
To give you a little idea of what this prequel will entail, I’ll submit the description I wrote for Endeavoring on the NaNoWriMo website:
Long before Malachi ever rode on Bonnie into Fairy Meadow and met Azalea for the first time, King Zechariah of Memiana and Queen Crystal of Orutia were attempting to bring peace to their kingdoms.
But Zechariah and Crystal hadn’t always been friends. Zechariah was raised by his parents to hate fairies. But as he continued growing up without his father and alongside his younger brother, the mischievous Sebastian, Zechariah started to create his own opinion on fairies and their beautiful, but tragic kingdom of Orutia. Crystal, on the other hand, was taught by her parents that humans were not enemies, but long-lost friends who were confused and afraid.
Both young heirs to their parents’ thrones, both seeking a better future for their people, King Zechariah and Queen Crystal begin to change the course of history. Fairies and humans had hated each other for hundreds of years, but all that was about to change because of two people and their strong desire to bring peace.
To put it more simply, the prequel is going to be an extensive prologue to Everlasting with much, much more detail than the actual prologue the novel has. I want to show my readers who Zechariah and Crystal were, what they did to bring about peace and why they fell in love.
I am so excited to start writing this book. I don’t think I’ve been this ecstatic about a book since…probably The Whistler Daughters (though, don’t get me wrong, I’m always excited to start any and all of my books. I would never start writing a book reluctantly. That would be no fun! It’s just that the emotion comes in varying degrees). Endeavoring is going to be different than any book I’ve ever written before. The main characters have personalities I’ve never explored in the past, the plot is much more political than anything I’ve dared try and the major themes and points and more complicated than the usual black and white issues.This book is going to be just as much a challenge as an adventure; just as much a learning experience as a joy. I am so looking forward to sharing more as NaNoWriMo begins and I wish the best of luck to all who endeavor to reach 50,000 words in November! 🙂