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Introducing the Camp Nanowrimo project

I’m going to be participating in Camp Nanowrimo this year, for the second year in a row. I’m signed up for both the June and the August sessions and, with May coming to a close far too quickly for my peace of mind, it’s time to start seriously thinking about the novels I’m going to be working on. Because this is supposed to be a writing blog instead  of a talking about writing blog, I’m going to do my best to document the whole process here, at least for one of the novels. This will involve spoilers and probably excerpts, as well as my various brainstorming sessions and inevitable dead ends. I can’t go through the whole process from start to finish because I’ve already had the original idea for both novels, though those might be discarded if they turn out to be unworkable. Hopefully, though, I’ll be able to stick with the ideas I have and create workable drafts. And who knows, documenting the process might inspire me to take the next step and actually edit a manuscript for once.

I’m currently focused primarily on the book I’m planning on writing in June, for the obvious reason that June starts in 11 days and I really should get my act together and decide what I’m working on. The planned book is fantasy, as is most of what I write, and focuses primarily on character relationships and growth. This is also not unusual for my writing. I’m an anthropologist with an interest in psychology and sociology. My writing is either character-driven or world-driven, with plot coming as something of an afterthought. As a result the most common complaint my roommate and fellow writer hears when I’m talking about ideas is a variation on, “this is such a cool idea, but I have no actual plot for this story!” We all have our weaknesses.

That said, this book does actually have a fairly coherent plot, though it’s not the focus of the story. Without giving everything away (that will come later) the story as it’s planned right now focuses on a group of three main characters and their changing and evolving relationships. The backdrop of this is a fairly turbulent political atmosphere, which will constitute the actual plot of the story. Each of these three main characters has different and fairly complicated reasons for being part of the group, the simplest of which belongs to the viewpoint character (tentatively named Torrick), who’s there because he has literally nowhere else to go. Throughout the story they grow and change and learn to work together (more or less) and eventually secrets get spilled, the most significant of which becomes vitally important to the entire story.

Admittedly, when talking about it broadly like that, it all sounds highly generic, but hopefully it’ll be interesting and engaging. Or at the very least coherent and lacking in significant plot holes and tortured logic. Not having started writing it yet, I’m not entirely sure how it will turn out, but I have a good feeling about this one. I’ve been poking at it for a while, trying to sort out the rather unique logistical problems in telling the story I want to tell in the way I want to tell it. If I’m very lucky, it’ll end up actually saying something about choice and self and how people interact with the world and the future. But for the moment I’ll settle for coherent and finished.

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