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)
I decided that, in order to get myself motivated and writing, that I needed to do a seven day challenge. [I'm on WriYe, so I signed up on there.] The idea is to pick a minimum amount of words to write each day - then do it. Simple, right? Well, I tend to complicate everything in my life. In past years, I chose a godawful goal like 1,000 or 1,500 words per day for a week. [I didn't get past the first days on any of those attempts.] This year, I chose the smallest goal they offered: 100 words. It sounds stupidly low, but I swear it has been working. I officially started it on Monday, yesterday, but I wanted to get myself used to writing daily so I started on Saturday. Since I don't get time to write during the day with the kids, I have to wait until they go to sleep - except I've been working graveyard shifts. So, I get out around 3 or 4am, and I still need to write my words for the day. [For me, the day doesn't start over until I go to sleep or until the sun rises.] Here I am, sitting in the car in the driveway, half delirious and wondering how the hell I drove halfway across the state and made it home without dying in a fiery crash because I'm half-drowsing while going 80 mph. I reach in my bag, pull out my laptop, which, by now, has only half battery. I pull out my notes, open my word processor, and get cracking. Sometimes it's all I can do to churn out 100 words before needing to just go to bed. But I did it! I actually expended that extra energy to sit down and spend time with my story, and I feel so much better for it in the morning. 

So, 100 words might not sound like a lot, but to me it's the difference between feeling confident versus feeling like a total failure. I'd say that's a pretty big deal indeed. 

This is all to just create the habit of writing something daily. It's a reminder that it doesn't matter how many words I write, just that I write. Words add up. I'm trying to do this all spring. [Sunny weather just makes me want to soak up the warmth and spend the day writing. Weird, I know.] Anyway, I'm starting week 1 with 100 words a day. Week 2, I'll write 200 words a day, and so on. Eventually, I'll be writing 1,000 words per day, but I won't really notice it because I'll already have that habit of just sitting down to write. 

That's my intention, anyway.

For this challenge, I'm working on the cozy mystery series that features a high school English teacher as the amateur sleuth. I'm really excited about this first installment, and I hope to finish it by the end of May. [It will get written.] Ideally, I want it released by October, which means beta reads, edits, and promotions need to be planned too. *squeal!*


Profile

cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
paw prints in the snow

July 2017

S M T W T F S
       1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 26th, 2017 10:27 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios