NaNoWriMo Preptober Exercise #28

Journal on What Worries You About Your Story World

What worries me is that I am still not sure what the deal is with the faerie city beyond the meadow. I really only know marginally little more than Cally does. In a very real sense, she and I are both figuring it out as we continue to press forward. (That’s another thing I should have said about her in Exercise #21: What You Love About Your Character(s). She generally doesn’t just get dragged along by the story, she pushes it forward, herself, with her inability to just turn her head and look away.)

I don’t think I’m a pantser. Not really. I guess more of a plantser. I do believe in the value of planning and of a rough outline and synopsis at minimum. At the same time, though, I have faith that the Answers to unsolved conundrums will come to me. I’ve seen it happen too many times to not believe this, so I just make note of these unsolved questions, take a deep breath of faith, and press on. I wish the Answers would come sooner, I guess, but they come in their own time. For instance, I finally figured out, after all these years, who Emerald is, after I finished Seven Turns. I’ve known of her existence for over twenty human years. Maybe it only comes when I’ve written whatever I need to write, first.

Would Seven Turns have been the same if I’d known all along? Probably not, though whether it would have been better or worse is a question I’ll never know the answer to, now. Certainly Cally’s confusion is palpable because mine was also real. Only, I fear this may come off more as “disorganized author” to a reader.

But I suppose there’s always that. Having started on Volume 2 now, there are things I want to change about Volume 1 to better support things I want for Volume 2. A dilemma Tolkien Hisownself famously may or may not have solved successfully. At least I’m in good company! And in truth I suppose this always happens to Real Authors, pants or no pants.

At least it’s not actually too late to change Vol 1. a bit if I want to. I had affirmed that I will have a contract in hand by next #PitMad and so not be able to participate this time, either, but in any case, I will (like Cally) just press on.

Things I don’t know yet that are worrying me
(but that I know will be OK!):

  1. The exact nature of why the Vale is so important; what would actually happen if it were breached, from either end?
  2. How the White Council opens or closes (or adjusts, like a tap) the Way In to Woodley.
  3. The nature of the Intrigue in fairyland; who the bad guy(s) is/are and what they want.
    (I always hate the Bad Guys part of any story, as a reader and as a writer. I wish I could just get away with dispensing with the whole concept. I would happily have watched 14 hours of The Lord of the Rings movie even if it were all scenes in the Shire: wandering through the village, a protracted Bilbo’s birthday party, and weeks on end of evenings spent in the Green Dragon. Why does there always have to be A Problem? That’s a Meta-Philosophical question about life in general, I suppose. And I’m not at all satisfied with the sophomoric stab the Matrix takes at the answer. Personally I’m going to blame a virus or parasite in the human brain. Or aliens. Maybe the aliens are a virus!)
  4. I am still not 100% sure whether Cally will go with Ben, or not, when he has to go. I think I know, sometimes, but…well, maybe I’ll figure it out when she does.
  5. Who Done It. Okay, I’m fairly sure. And I even think I know how we can satisfy the Rule about having to meet him/her early in the story. Just not sure he/she should really be all that bad..?

This whole thing is starting to feel more and more like a DC Comic every minute…


NaNoWriMo Preptober Exercise #7

I’ve decided, since I’m working on Books 2 and 3 anyway, to make Book 2 my NaNoWriMo project this year. Working title will be: Moonlight and Moss.

The exercise for Day 7 of Preptober  is “Journal on what excites you about your story idea.” (Today is the 20th so I’m running behind, but aren’t we all? OTOH I already have many of the future exercises already complete. So there’s that.) Anyway here is what I journaled:

It excites me that my fans (yes! I already have some!) will be excited to get back to Woodley and re-visit some of the characters they love. I am looking forward to finding out more about George’s story and about who/what Emerald is. It’s not as if even I know all the details, at this point. I am also looking forward to actively exploring what lies beyond the meadow. I get a little short of breath when I think that at some point Ben will go with Cally into the meadow – it’s hard to get any privacy at Vale house. 🙂

Katarina will pack them a picnic basket and Bethany will insist they take a blanket with them “so grass won’t get everywhere” wink wink nudge nudge.

I do plan to delve deeper into faerie lore, and this makes me nervous. Faerie is not a thing in which one should go messing about without advance preparation/education, and even then, it’s still kind of perilous. I must trust to my allies, I guess, just as Cally must. I think Rum will look after me, but I am still more than a little apprehensive about meeting Ben’s mother, and I think his daughter might give me some gray hairs, too. Good thing I like gray hair!