Monday, October 5, 2015

Prepping for the Stranger Child

amwriting Writing Setup at Chick-fil-A for NaNoWriMo 2015 Prospective YA Novel Roger and the Lightyear Mass
This October marks a first in my writing life. I'm experimenting with being a plotter instead of a pantser for NaNoWriMo this year.

Armed with my Chromebook, a cup of free WiFi at Chick-fil-A (refilled as needed by the friendly team of chicken-sandwich pushers here), and the helpful Prep Calendar from Skye Phillips (which I got via a tweet by Michael Stern), I am ready to start plotting!

The other essential: my handy-dandy doorknob-hanger from last year's NaNo goodies, which boldly announces that I am a novelist at work, even while it marginally authorizes all kinds of interruptions. No doorknob here to hang it from, so I drape it around the neck of the flower vase that sits on the table.

Today's ikebana is hyacinth bean flowers and pods from our "farm," brilliantly (or accidentally) arranged by my spouse.

In the run-up to last November, I debated writing another in the Fateful Weather series or a YA novel that was competing for time and writing-space in my brain. The decision was a close one, but Indigo won. I wrote a third supernatural thriller set in that small town, following the seat-of-the-pants method I had used for the previous two. 

The YA novel idea didn't go away, though. It kept percolating at the back of my head, clamoring for an outlet. And since I don't already have a "world" written for this novel, plotting it before November begins makes sense.

I got some motivation and assistance from James Scott Bell, whose Write Your Novel from the Middle now resides on my Kindle. I have also been stock-piling writing tips from my Google+ circles. October is the time allotted to read through these articles and sort out which are useful and which are best ignored.

So far, the premise is simple. Roger is a strange boy:
He blames his feelings of alienation on his family, who move to a new town each year when his dad is reassigned. But when he arrives in Lightyear, a remote town smaller than any they’ve ever lived in before, he meets “The Mass,” a blended family of equally odd children and their superbly different parents. Roger has to face his own strange nature and make a momentous decision. Can he become ordinary? Does he even want to try?