What I’m Writing For NaNoWriMo | From the Writing Desk: NaNoWriMo 2016 #4

nanowrimo-presentHello everybody, how’s your novel for NaNoWriMo looking like? I hope that you’ve been doing well. I’ve picked up steam since last week, clocking in at about 9,000 words for the week, and I’m still on track to finish by November 30. Though I still have some catching up to do on blogging and commenting. As for the story, I have some issues with parts of it that I’ll be taking a knife to it and cut and tear it to pieces and sew its remains together to form a better story. Hahaha… ha. It’s clearly more than a little issue.

As promised last week, I’ll talk about the novel I’m writing for NaNoWriMo. To be honest, I’m a little bit hesitant, not because I think it’s the greatest idea ever and people are going to steal it, but because I feel like it’s a tight water balloon and one poke at it is going to have it bursting to pieces. But I think it’s good to have your work criticized, especially at an early stage.

So, let’s talk about how I got this idea in the first place. It was a dream I had about two years ago. It’s the first idea I’ve written that came from a dream, and that has me really excited for some reason. I guess because it’s not really my conscious brain that thought it up but rather my subconscious and I can pretend like a greater power gave me the idea for the story, maybe? I remember waking up and scrambling for my computer to jolt the dream down before I forgot about it.

The dream in question, like most dreams, was a haphazard barely connected thing. But there were two parts to it in particular that really grabbed me. Both were in a Victorian era London place, like Oliver Twist, and both were in dirty back alleys. So my story is also set in a Victorian London like town, which I called Brisborough because I’m not good with names.

In one of the two parts, there was a guy walking with his friend down a back alley and clearly feeling out of place, because this wasn’t the sort of place he would be around. He sees a girl, and a group of other people behind her, using an elevator by the side of the building to go up. It’s the type of elevator used in construction sites. He’s smitten by her immediately. It’s not really love, but he gets this desire to learn more about her and his minds occupied by her afterwards. I get the sense that the girl is an orphan, and the people she’s with is her siblings.

In the second part, the guy is trapped in a building with his friend and it’s on fire. Outside, there’s a lady dressed in high fashion of the Victorian Era, along with a lackey, who is some sort of butler person. The lady is the one who set the building on fire with her powers. The girl and her siblings comes, kick some ass and bust him out of certain, fiery death.

And that was it. I took those part and ran with it. I made the girl the main character, she’s called Vicky Osment. I made it so her siblings aren’t blood related, they’re all orphans picked off the streets, trained into witch hunters and grouped together in a “family”. Mortality rate is pretty high for their job, as witch and other “monsters” are more than a pest, but rather a real, constant threat to society. Henry, the oldest in the Osment unit is the only one to have been in another family before and is pretty strict in taking care of his current one, which results in fights with Vicky, who has always resented the fact that she’s forced to become a witch hunter. She likes the job, just not the baggage it comes with.

The boy is called Edward, and he’s the son of a silver mogul, who came to Brisborough to open a silver mine and Edward comes along with him. Here he makes a new friend, Jack, also the son of a tycoon. Edward’s father is working with a foreign investor and rich businesswoman Faustine and her brother Charles. Edward is assigned to bring them around town and keep them company while his father gets things off the ground. It’s the first time he’s been to a smaller town and he uses the opportunity to explore and learn about life in towns like this one.

Vicky and Edward meet, hijinx ensues and witches burn buildings.

I’ve tried to make the world feel bigger. I turned the orphan organization into a type of religious organization working to use these orphans to protect the world. I’m stepping around this part of the book very carefully, because I’ve just been reading Lockwood & Co, and I worry I might be infringing on something because it feels so similar. I’ll have to look this up on revision.

I’m thinking of this as the first book in a series, but I’ve made sure to write towards a satisfying ending. There are several questions that I have left out in the open that aren’t really involve in the story of this one. I wonder if I should take them out instead of just hinting at it and not answering it by the end of this story. Either way, that’s a problem for future Jamie to solve, when he does the revision. I hope he’s better at this than me.

So far I’m pretty happy with what’s written. I love the world especially, but the characters are pretty fun to write too. I think I still need to improve on the atmosphere though, try to hammer in the Victorian era feel and the overall oppressiveness of the world. Most of it I think will have to come through the dialogue, which is the thing I’m worst in. I’m actually thinking about writing a screenplay just to force myself to write dialogues that can convey the right tone and feeling without modifiers. It would be a fun experiment, but I’m not sure where I would find the time to do something like that.

Other than that, pacing is another issue I’m facing since I’m about ten chapters and things are just starting to get going. I’ll have to see how it is when I finish the story and how long the whole novel is. There’s also the balance between the romance subplot and the main plot of the story needs some adjustment as I think it’s leaning more to the former than I want it to be.

Anyhoo, that’s the story I’m working on for this NaNoWriMo. What do you think about it? I would love to know your honest opinions. If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, what kind of book are you writing? If you’re willing to share, I would love to know in the comments down below 🙂


4 thoughts on “What I’m Writing For NaNoWriMo | From the Writing Desk: NaNoWriMo 2016 #4

  1. I love this idea. Writing a plot and fleshing out characters based on a dream often works really well. I hope it all works out for you!

    My novel is a contemporary fantasy, the first in a series (I’ve already planned the whole thing out). NaNo is going pretty well; some days okay, some days great. I’m still on target to finish on time, though, so here goes nothing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Overall, I really happy with what I have so far, just need to do some adjustments, so I hope it all works out in the end 🙂
      That’s great! It’s good to have everything planned on to know what you’re writing towards. Glad that it’s going well for you! It’s the final week (and some), so let’s kick it up a notch and make sure we finish on time 🙂


  2. Your story sound so interesting!
    First of all, it is amazing that you got the idea from a dream. Usually, when I wake up, I can’t remember a thing about my dream. Sometimes, I remember a few glimpses, but never the whole thing.
    I really enjoy the idea of an orphan organization that has to protect the world. It reminds me of a few characters in Death Note. They’re not witch hunters, but they’re very smart orphans that have to fight our main character. I hope you continue to develop this idea, even if it becomes similar to the book you mentioned.
    I’m also pretty bad at dialogues. I really like to read them, especially when they’re funny and very dynamic, but it’s hard writing one of your own! I hope you find time to write a screenplay; I definitely agree that this might be helpful.
    All the luck on your novel, Jamie! (And sorry for the long comment!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks!
      That’s usually the case with me too, but once in a while I get a very vivid dream that I remember when I wake up. I try my best to record those down as soon as I can if it’s something interesting.
      That’s a good point! I hadn’t thought about Death Note having something similar. It’s slip my mind that Mello and Near are from an orphanage too. I’ll try my best to continue developing the idea. I think it was perhaps a little too soon for me to write it, but at least I know where the flaws are now 🙂
      They are definitely hard to get right. I don’t speak English in everyday life either, so that’s another hurdle, but I think with practice and some research, it should be doable. I really hope it is, haha.
      Thanks and no worries, long comments are the best 🙂


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