*disclaimer: this post is a bit scattered and I apologize for that in advance.*
This summer, I embarked on my second full length novel, but decided to give something new a shot: Camp NaNoWriMo. Like NaNoWriMo, the challenge in to successfully complete a novel in one month (except it’s July, not November!). Last summer, I wrote my first completed manuscript, and it literally took me all summer. Although, I admit, it was quite long. (109,670 words long, to be exact.)
This book, however, was an entirely different experience than my first novel, and definitely a positive one.
Not only did I complete this book in one month, I took days off, I wrote a consistent amount of words for about half the month (which was crazy amazing), and I came up with a plot I really love. My last novel (entitled “Lutira” in my computer for no apparent reason) was a learning experience and proof to myself that hey, I can finish a novel!
After completing Lutira, I quickly realized that there was no climax of any sort. I was too scared to make my characters suffer. It’s basically 109,670 pages of fluffy happiness and lots of descriptions about clothing. So, when I sat down to think about my newest novel (“Simple” in my computer), I realized I needed to know the end when I started this book.
The majority of this book was planned out of the Notes app on my iPhone at around midnight when I was trying to fall asleep and had these plot ideas running through my head that I adored. So I figured out the main obstacles and the climax, and finally, the ending. The hard part? Getting there. This all played into the biggest lesson I learned while writing this book: the importance of character development and serious planning. I learned that I can’t pants on the ending. I have to know where I’m going in order to get there in a positive way and feel happy with what I’ve written. I also learned that it’s GOOD to make your characters suffer, even if it tears you to pieces and makes you cry while writing.
Simple is a novel I’m proud of, and am definitely planning on revising and editing a bit. There’s a few pieces missing here and there that I’ve taken note of, so I’m excited to get those in and look over the novel.
But before I give you anything else, I have to thank a cast of characters for their support and love during this month:
My Cabin Mates: Anneqah, Erika, and Eternalangel. You guys were awesome to have conversations with, and I loved this experience! (Only Erika and I completed our novels, but oh well.)
My Word-Wars Buddies: Anneqah, Erika, Rachel, and Megan, who I had a blast sparring with and getting in those last words late at night. Even if we didn’t all finish, I had a blast this month with you guys! *hugs*
My Cheerleaders: Jen (who’s going to be a beta reader which she is dying to do – gosh I love this girl), Vy (who’s been her usual supportive self), and Meredith (who I will force to beta read so she can smiley face my over powering sections of conversation).
My parents, who tolerated my time at the computer, my skipping out on certain things saying, “I need to get my word count in!” and were there when I finished with high-fives and hugs. My biggest cheerleaders, right here.
Now, without further adieu, I give you the Simple (working title, by the way) synopsis:
Gemma Jacobs follows her parents’s rules, excels in school, doesn’t get into trouble – she’s what every parent wants. But she’s never experienced the world outside of her life, and that’s about to change. When Wes arrives at her parents’s hotel and rings the bell (literally) on her concierge desk, Gemma has a choice: she can let him in and be drawn into a world she’s always wanted to be a part of, or she can continue on the path her parents have built for her. Wes has the power to help Gemma become anyone she wants, but the question is: who does she want to be?
And an excerpt for your reading pleasure:
I curl my legs into my chest and lean my forehead to my knees, looking out of my window at the skyline of Boston. I’d like to think I am strong enough to leave my family, my name, my “legacy” as my father calls it, behind, but I don’t think I am. That would involve leaving behind my trust fund (which I’d like to think I don’t care about, but I definitely do) and everything I’ve ever known. Although I guess the latter is what’s involved in leaving behind your family.
Maybe after college I’ll stand up to them. Tell them I’m going to move to India and become a snake charmer. God, that’d give them such a fright. I fall back against my pillow and imagine myself in some foreign land, no Jacobs hotels, no Mom and Dad breathing down my neck, none of it.
And my nifty homemade cover with working title.
Simple (working title) first draft completed at 50,278 words.
If you completed NaNo too, comment below! I’d love to share the excitement with you. *massive hugs*