15 November 2015

NaNoWriMo Day 14 - The Story

I suppose I should post about the actual content of my novel.

It's turning out to be a church drama (which is actually kind of fun): hundred-year-old small-town old-school Baptist church with secrets.

The main character is called Natalie. She hosts a TV show that basically goes around Canada and investigates/covers ghost stories. She and her co-host Matt are sent to film an episode in a small Bible-belt town. Things get weird when it turns out to be the town in which Natalie spent the first twelve years of her life. And she'd never heard anything about a ghost.

They go to the town and find that unlike most ghosts, this one has no firm identity or even a set legend around it. No-one's ever actually seen anything more than its shadow, and there are three possibilities as to whose spirit it might be.

But Natalie's not focused on the strangeness of the ghost story. While on location, she finds out that her closest childhood friend, a musical prodigy, vanished eighteen years ago, and nobody ever found out what happened to her.

In conducting an unofficial investigation into Sonora's disappearance, she dredges up all kinds of ancient history, stuff the church and the community would like to forget about. There's the shooting death of a nine-year-old, the church elder caught in an affair, the attempt on the previous pastor's life, the 'prodigal daughter'... At first it just seems like the town had a seriously messed up past, but as Natalie digs deeper, she finds that Sonora is the epicentre of everything that's happened there in the past 35 years. And even though Sonora's long gone, it's not all over.

Not only has Natalie been accused of causing Sonora's (unproven) death, she's digging into secrets that the town has spent 35 years trying to hide and she's got a camera crew with her. The silence surrounding Sonora's entire life needs to be broken and only Natalie can do it -- but the same gun that killed Sonora's sister is setting its sights on her...

So how is it actually going?

Awful, to be honest. The bulk of my word count is primarily made up of fictional deacon meeting minutes and annual reports (the fact that these bits are the most interesting parts of my novel is a testimony to how much the overall novel sucks). I started the contest writing 5k a day and am now having a hard time stringing three words together. My brain is completely tapped out. I try to think about my novel and there are literally no thoughts in my head. My main character should be fun to write, but she has no real internal thought process. She just kind of 'does things.' She doesn't really 'think' in words and sentences and flowery metaphors like most of my characters in other stories, she just kind of evaluates the situation and takes action without putting it into words, even mentally. I never realised before how much I depend on my characters' long-winded flowery internal monologues to eat up word count until this year. Basically, I have to write 50k of straight-up actual plot, which apparently I've never truly done before. I've never had a problem with the DoRD (Department of Redundancy Department) until this year, and the sudden change this year is entirely because I have literally no more words, so I have my characters repeat everything three times and just change the wording each time.

In short: I actually really hate my novel. Not even in a joking sense. I seriously hate this novel. It has so much potential, but no feeling.

Stats time!
Official NaNoWriMo Goal For Day 14: 23,338 words
Current Word Count: 40,727 words
Mary Poppins References: 1
Daniel Amos References: 2
Number Of Character Smoke Breaks: 1
Number Of Characters Who Actually Smoke: 0
Bags Of Doritos Consumed: like 5 (those miniscule 'fun size' ones that have like five chips each)

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