Writing and Journaling

Camp NaNoWriMo: April 2021

Good Morning, Dear Reader!

Today is the last day of March. You know what that means! April is Camp NaNoWriMo for all you novelin’ fiends out there. For me, I will be putting the finishing touches on my novel Bloom in August. I have a lot ahead of me, but I’m aiming to make my word count higher, change the chronological format of the book, and do a bit of deep character development.

So, my story takes place in the 19teens and ends in the 1970’s. I flip flopped back and forth in order to create more tension and mystery. An “Ooooh! What happens next?!” type feeling. What I was going for didn’t work and my friends who read it as well as my editor (who is also a dear friend, but she says it like it is and I need that) all say that it actually made them feel a bit disjointed. Disconnection and becoming lost from a novel is a bad thing and it kills your story. So I aim to set my book in chronological order now, rather than flip floppy.

Another aspect of my book I need to work on is character development. My editor friend mentioned a lot that she wanted to get to know them better. Everything seemed surface. Even more so, she said I did a lot of telling not showing. Unfortunately, I strive not to do this and I used to be very good before college. But, a lot of term papers and non-fiction factual text tends to drain and weaken the imagination muscles and I’ve felt for some time that I lost “it” a lot. Like they say, if you don’t work on muscles, you lose it, and that isn’t for just physical muscles. You have to write every day if you want to beef up that part of your brain. To sum up, I’m in the 70k mark right now with the book and I bet I can easily bring it up to 100k, which would make more sense for a Historical Fiction novel too.

I am also going to be completely changing a character. I have a character that becomes crazy and murders a kid and it’s a whole big thing. I was striving for the whole Murphy’s Law thing, but apparently I gave my character, August, too much bad. Like, I had one of my friends tell me “does his misery ever end?” and I chuckled. But as I thought long and hard on it, there’s a lot that can happen if I turn the crazy character, Cecily, into a “this-wasn’t-the-ending-I-wanted-but-it’s-actually-better-for-me” type situation and….August’s son doesn’t have to die. My other character, Rosie, would have a brother that was alive and it just does so much for August in the story that sets the pace for redeeming qualities. There is so much misery and grief in this story (as I’ve often told people, it was a bit therapeutic and cathartic for me to write), but I think it’s time to tone it back. While I need to beef up other aspects, I have to deflate this one — and it won’t be a bad thing. Like I learned when I studied acting: It’s much better to overdo it and make bold choices and have the director pull you back rather than giving the director something weak. If you go for the latter, the director doesn’t see anything they can work with. At least, with this dark infested tale, I can work with it and shed some light in August’s life.

All of this and more is my plan for Camp Nanowrimo this April of 2021 and I hope this will bring me one step closer to publishing. I know, in the end, it will feel so good to give the go ahead and set me story free out in the world, but, for now, I must keep working on it. I dare not shortcut this tale to publishing as it will only do me and the story no good. It’s all in the journey and we learn a great many things from it.

Signing off,

~ M

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