Mar. 31st, 2017

cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
I finished my mini series of how to prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo in five days, except I didn't prepare my own idea because I spent so much time writing the blog posts. *sigh* It's two hours until midnight of the main event, and I'm sitting in a local diner ready to get to work. Since I actually like the way I laid it all out, I'm going to follow my own blog's advice. 

Here's the link for day 1 for reference. I've already done most of the prep work: I've registered, I have my idea, and I have my one sentence summary. I'll answer the final questions at the end, just because they will come up later.
  1. What is the story about? It's about a thirty-one year old English teacher and her husband who go see a play at the local theater. The teacher, Agnes, notices the actors are acting weird, so she sneaks behind stage to investigate, only to see that two actors have been murdered during the play. She must solve the case before the play concludes and everyone goes home.
  2. Why do I need to tell this particular story? I'm bringing my love of teaching and Shakespeare on the page and combining it with my love for solving murder mysteries. Quite frankly, these characters won't leave me along (especially Agnes - she's persistent) until I write the story.
  3. Why does it compel me? It combines several aspects I love. I love as good mystery, and I want to practice laying down clues to solve a puzzle.
  4. What feelings does the story bring up for me? Excitement. I'm definitely excited to follow Agnes down these rabbit holes to solve murders. 
  5. How do I want to convey the feeling to others? By carefully laying down clues and red herrings, I'm hoping to bring a level of suspense and mystery to the page. I want readers to get excited and curious about who could be the murderer (or murderess). 
  6. What actually happens in the story? Readers get a glimpse into Agnes and her husband's lives. They get to know their minds and their relationship to be able to further build on top of it in later books.
  7. What's the conflict? Agnes is an outsider who tries to solve the murder. There is a level of urgency because once the play is over and people leave the theater, it'll be more difficult to solve the case. 
  8. Who tells the story? Agnes. She's our main character and amateur sleuth. Since she is the one solving the cases, it's important for her to tell the story so we can get a glimpse inside her mind to see her thought processes.
  9. Who is the story about and why? It's about Agnes and her life with her husband in a small town in Vermont. Together, throughout the series, she will share her challenges and successes with readers. She will cry about health issues, get frustrated with her husband, and celebrate her victories on the page and with readers.
  10. What themes do I want to explore? Family and companionship are big ones. I'm trying to explore what it is that makes a family and how people define it. Also community, especially a tight-knit one such as the small town in which they live. There's always pros and cons to small town life, and I want to explore those in the series. I want to also explore friendship and platonic relationships as well. Also - fulfillment and what it means to be satisfied in life, how sometimes we don't get everything we want, and how to redefine success and happiness. 
  11. Who is my intended audience? People who enjoy a good mystery while also delving into the personal lives of characters. Cozy mystery readers will enjoy the story, as may teachers and lovers of literature since there is a literary bent to it.
  12. What genre does the story fit in best? Cozy mystery.


Even though I thought I knew all these answers, the question about theme was the one that struck me the most. I had to pause and really think about what broad topics I wanted to explore within the series. It helped me hone some of the feelings I want to invoke within readers as well. 

cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 Here's the post for day 2 from my writer blog for reference.

I already have my plot synopsis, so I'm going to skip the paragraph part. 

The point of view is Aggie's. Everything is filtered through her eyes, and I want an up close and personal feel, so I'm going with first person using I and me pronouns. 


This is a really short one since I'm not doing the one paragraph summary, though. Onward! 


cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 Here's the post for reference.

The first task is to describe the setting as an outsider would see it. Since the setting for the first book takes place exclusively in the theater, I'll include a description of the entire town for future reference for other books. Here goes!

Cheval, Vermont is a small town in Vermont with 2,153 people living in there. Most people, approximately 1200 people, live in the outskirts of town, and about 950 people live in the main part of town. It's these thousand people who will be mostly featured in the series. There is a typical main street where all the shops are located. I have a map with the stores on both Main Street (your typical small town Main St) and the storefront shops on Sunset Avenue. The town is along Lake Hawthorne, which is based off Lake Champlain. 

There are a ton of shops, including: floral, antique, coffee shop, natural grocery, apothecary, chocolatier, small bookstore, craft shop, Amish specialty shop, smoothie shop, and more. Tons! Small Town America puts an emphasis on  small businesses, so I want to reflect that in my town. I also want to use this city in other series I've developed. [So far, I can think of three already that can share this town!] There are ten streets that are considered large streets in the main part of town, and there are dozens of smaller streets, mostly ending in cul-de-sacs off those. There is a line of trees (like a mini forest/woods) that divide the main part of town from the outskirts. In the outskirts, there are mostly cabins that are relatively far apart. Most of the people live here and commute to town or other cities for work. Beyond the outskirts is the Maplestone Forest, which is about 2500 acres. It's famous for body dumps from larger towns. 

It's not a tourist town, but every year they host a Ren Faire, which brings in people from around the town. It's a middle-class town, with the average income ranging from $50,000 to $80,000 per year. It's about fifty-fifty divided between married couples and single people. Class sizes are small at the school. The junior high-high school has 350 students ranging from age 11 to age 18 - 6th through 12th grades. The elementary school has 400 students from K-5th grades. Average ages of adults are late 20s to early 40s in the main town and mid 40s to late 60s in the outskirts. 

The closest cities to it are: Seville, Ridott, Valinda, Wolsey, and Roselle. They get the most traffic from Wolsey and Roselle. 


Since I want to keep this sort of organized, I'll end it here and continue the rest of the topics from this day in a different post. Next are characters and their roles.

After writing all this, I'm feeling nostalgic for a town I've never been. (Though it feels like I have lived there!) 

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