Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blog Request: NaNoWriMo

Last week I asked you guys what you wanted me to write about, and I got quite a few very cool ideas -- I will definitely be tackling them whenever I have nothing in particular I want to write about.

I wanted to address this one first, seeing as how we've just passed the halfway point of November:

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? If yes, what's it about? If no, what are the top few ideas you want to write about someday?

I absolutely am doing NaNoWriMo this year, although it's been a bit of an odd journey. I started off writing a Christian coming-of-age story, sort of the anti-God's Not Dead. The central idea was of a very sheltered girl heading off to a secular college, ready to do battle for God in an anti-Christian environment. But when she gets there, she finds that things don't seem to be lining up the way she thought they would. Most people don't seem to be that hostile about her faith, they just don't care and the few times she tries to stand up for God by challenging a teacher on evolution or God's existence, it doesn't go at all as she expects. She wonders if she's not being bold enough, but ultimately she figures out she's not even a little bit prepared for what the real world is like, and she has to find a way to re-shape her faith a little bit without abandoning it.

So I was all excited about this idea, had a lot of cool things I wanted to explore, but about four days in, I remembered why I don't ever write dramatic YA growing-up stories. They're so boring to write.

So then this happened, in the middle of my MC getting advice from her mom on the phone:
I knew she was right. But I was bored of this story. 
Let's take a detour. 
When I got back to my dorm room, it was empty. In fact, I realized, I hadn't seen another person on the way back from class. That's weird, I thought. On Monday the campus was buzzing all day. 
I pulled the curtains back and peeked out my window. Nope, nobody there. I stared at the walkway for almost a full five minutes, but nobody walked past. The ugly gray cloudy sky seemed somehow darker and more oppressive. 
I tried to tell myself I was crazy. Maybe there was a big event going on and everybody was attending that. Maybe it was a sports thing. I hadn't paid any attention to the sports things. Shannon was a sports nut, so that would explain why she wasn't here either. 
I peeked my head out into the hallway and then wandered through the halls, taking a moment to peek in doors that were open. Nobody. 
When I got to the end of the hall, I found Rachael's office, closed but with the blinds open, and with a clear sign on the door: "In from 10-6." 
It was 11:30 right now. 
Maybe she was off at lunch, I told myself, though I tried the door and it was unlocked. Rachael wouldn't leave her door unlocked when she went to lunch, would she? She had given us a huge lecture the other night about how important it was to lock our own doors when we weren't there, just as a matter of safety, because that way if anyone got into the building sneaking in behind someone else, they couldn't go into any rooms that didn't let them in. 
So why would she leave her door unlocked in the middle of the day and not be here? 
Maybe she just ran down the hall to make a copy or check on someone. 
So I sank down to the floor next to the door and patiently waited. 
And that is how my quiet coming-of-age Christian story turned into a survival horror Left Behind-style story, though the one in charge of all these disappearances is definitely not God. I'm not sure what's going on here (and I doubt I'm ever going to explain it in the story), but a huge chunk of the population is gone, and periodically more just disappear. My character is convinced it is God, although she's not sure how or why, since this isn't how she's ever heard the rapture preached. She may accidentally start a cult eventually. Still debating on that one.

Also, Jacob requested that I include him in the story as a murderer. I named a character after him and he turned out to be just the worst person (last chapter, he got punched in the face and everyone cheered) so I don't think people are going to be surprised when he's a murderer.

I'm currently about 5000 words behind, but I'm slowly catching up, so I'm optimistic that I'm going to make it this year.

I don't have any other stories currently mulling around inside my brain, but there are a few written/half-written past NaNo projects I'd love to play around with some more. I'll have to talk about those some other time.

How about you guys? Are you NaNoing? If so, what are you writing about, and how is it going?

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