Skip to main content

NaNoWriMo Is Here Again

Longtime readers know that every November I take part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a monthlong writing extravaganza that started in 2003 and has spread from San Francisco to the entire world.  The first time I participated was in 2011 and I actually made it to the goal of 50k words by November 30th.  I haven't won since  This year, I will make it.

I've been planning it out for the last week or so and finally got a synopsis together yesterday:

Allegheny "Allie" Jones left home as soon as she hit 18 and was able to go away to college.  Life in the small town of Bella Lago, NY was complete torture and she knew she had to get out before she went insane.  In the past 10 years, she hasn't looked back.  Now, she has no choice.  As an agent in the Paranormal Investigative Unit of the FBI, she's sent back home to investigate the death of her former friend, Laura Brown.  Normally, she'd go in under the radar, but this time it is different.  She has to go back as herself--the version of herself that they knew back then because no one can know her true purpose.

Danny Rawling has lived in Bella Lago his entire life and has never felt the need to leave.  This is where his family and friends are after all.  A couple of years ago, Danny left his high-paying Wall Street job to open up The Danger Room, an MMA style gym, right on Main Street.  Most people thought he was insane, but he knew that even if he failed, he would fail at doing what he loved.  After two years of being open, he's even happier about his decision than he was when he first made it.

He remembers Allie from high school, but they never spent any time together back then--he was a year older and the captain of the football team; he couldn't be seen with the weird girl, who claimed she could see ghosts, even if there was something about her that made him think that she could.  Now, that she's back in town, the need to truly know her is like a physical pull.  She isn't at all his type.  For starters, she dresses like someone ashamed of her body, which despite of her extremely baggy clothes, he can tell is outstanding.  Bodies were his job, after all.  When he realizes that she's looking into Laura's disappearance, he sees his chance as he's the only one in Bella Lago that believes something happened to her.

Together, they take on an entire town's superstitions, the mafia, a deranged serial killer, and scariest of all--love.

This story has taken several forms over the years and was originally my take on Cinderella meets James Bond.  Back then, the characters were Ella and David.  I was not a big fan of where that one was going, but I liked the idea of setting a novel in a town based on where I lived and the people I knew while I was there.  Bella Lago is my (highly) fictionalized version of Howard Beach, which is where I lived for about half of my life.  Allie, however, is not me.  She shares some of my experiences, but she most definitely is not me.  I did know a guy named Danny when I was in high school, but as far as I know he did not open up an MMA gym anywhere.  He also was not the captain of the football team--not that it would have been much of an honor as our football team sucked.

The part of the prep that I like the most involved creating the town and figuring out names for the different stores and schools.  The public school is called P.S. 217, which is a reference to my dad's address from when he was a kid.  The Catholic School is called St. Anne's named after the psychotic nun, who ran the CCD program at the actual Catholic school in Howard Beach a few years back.

I like to develop complete histories of my characters, although most of it doesn't even end up in the finished product.  For instance, I know that Allie's favorite song is Creep by Radiohead and that Danny's is Another Brick in the Wall Part II by Pink Floyd.  I also know that the former pastor of St. Anne's Catholic Church and the ex-principal of St. Anne's Catholic School embezzled money from the school and ran off together, Thornbirds style.  Then, there is the high school principal, who grew up at the knee of her Neo-Nazi grandfather, which is why she treats the students at the JR/SR High School so abysmally.  Last, there is the fact that Allie's mother and aunt both have the word Bella (Isabella and Arabella) in their names because they're descended from the town founders, but that no one knows that.

I still don't have a title for the book, so if anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to them.  Just post them in the comments.  If you're also taking part in NaNo, feel free to post about your novel and what you like about taking part.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Throwback Review: The Dream Trilogy by Nora Roberts

There are some books that stick with you no matter how long it has been since you first read them.  For me, the Dream Trilogy has always been in the back of my head.  I probably read them a good 15 years ago and the last time was a good 10 years back.  As a matter of fact, that trilogy was part of the first round of books I purchased when I got my first kindle for my 24th birthday (I never actually read it after buying the digital version; I guess I just needed to know that I could read them if I wanted.


The first book of the trilogy, Daring to Dream, was released in 1996 when I was just 10 years old and more concerned with passing math (I did, but not without many a night of struggling to remember what the E in PEMDAS meant) than I was with the goings on of fictional characters inside the pages of a book.  In fact, if I read at all during that time period it was to get a free pan pizza through Pizza Hut and the Book It! program.  I've mentioned this a few times before, but I act…

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Review of "Lord of Chance" by Erica Ridley

Title: Lord of Chance Author: Erica Ridley ISBN: 1943794049 Publisher: Webmotion Series: Rogues to Riches #1 Price: $7.99 (paperback) $3.99 (e-book) $9.97 (Audible Audio)
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 





I was recently given the opportunity to take part in a Blog Tour for the newest Erica Ridley novel, Lord of Chance, and as I've liked her books in the past, I decided to do it.  The publisher quickly provided me with  a whole folder full of goodies, so without further ado:
The Excerpt
'Charlotte harrumphed to hide her amusement. “How are you at pressing wrinkles from gowns?” “Let me assure you,” Mr. Fairfax informed her with utter seriousness, “that I have never worn a wrinkled gown in all my life.” “Very gentlemanly.” She tried not to smile. “Let’s see your skill as maid-of-all-work, then. My gowns are in the wardrobe, as is my traveling iron. See what you can do.” “At your service.” He bowed, then turned and marched to the wardrobe like a soldier off to war. Now that he couldn’t see her, she let her…

Review of "New York, Actually" by Sarah Morgan

Title: New York, Actually
Author: Sarah Morgan
ISBN: 0373804105
Publisher: HQN Books
Series: From Manhattan with Love #4
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96 (Audible)
Rating: 🐶🐶🐶🐶1/2


If you follow me on social media, you'll have seen my posts about this book over the last week.  For the most part, they weren't very positive -- until about 20% into the book, I hated the hero.  If I could have set him on fire, I probably would have.  It was only Ms. Morgan's prose and the fact that I had been looking forward to this book for 6 months that kept me reading.  For once, I am glad I was so wrong about a character.

From the PublisherOne man. One woman. Two dogs.  Meet Molly—New York's most famous advice columnist, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they're other people's. Still bruised from her last breakup, Molly is in no rush to find happily-ever-after—the only love of her life is her dalmatian, Valentine.  Meet Daniel—A cynical divorce …

Review of "On the Surface" by Kate Willoughby

Title: On the Surface
Author: Kate Willoughby
ASIN: B00GKBIQMW
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: In the Zone #1
Price: $4.99 (e-book) | $12.47 (Audible Audio)
Rating: DNF


From the Publisher
NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After “Bottlegate,” he’s traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he’ll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.
Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who’s never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim’s autograph at a PR event in hopes of impressing the doctor she has a crush on. When an obnoxious fan gets pushy toward Erin, Tim rushes to defend the pretty stranger, throwing a punch in the process.
Grateful for the rescue, Erin agrees to stand by Tim during the resulting press conference and host him at a hospital charity event. Their chemistry is palpable, and soon their lives are intertwined. But Erin doubts a hockey player is capable of an…

Review of "Pretty Face" by Lucy Parker

Pretty Face is pretty fucking awesome.  There, I said it.  I first picked it up based on all the squeeing about Ms. Parker's first book, Act Like It, which I am sad to say, I still have not read, despite said squeeing.  I don't usually read books by authors I know are British and I'm sure this comes from all those stuffy classics I had to read in high school.  Granted, many of those classics were written by American authors (I still have nightmares about reading Moby Dick--Mr Sullivan, if you are out there and have stumbled on my blog, I'm sorry, but Melville was an awful writer, who used the English language as a torture device), but still, there seems to be some type of block in my brain that stops me from wanting to read something by a British author.  I'm glad I made an exception for Ms. Parker.

Luc Savage is in the middle of a crisis: he can't find anyone to play Elizabeth I in the new play that he is producing.  While he's used to dealing with actors…