Honestly, I cannot believe that it is November already, but here we are, almost done with the year and writers all over the world are ready to start our newest creations. I began National Novel Writing Month last year as the outside English air turned crisp and chill with the smell of bonfires and pumpkin lingering on our senses. This year, I am blessed with the heat of an Australian summer creeping in, the smell of barbeques and sunscreen filling my soul.
I didn’t get the chance to complete NaNo last year. I was in a very muddled situation that required a lot (if not all!) of my attention. My brain and heart were a mess and keeping myself alive had to become my main priority – even if I was struggling to find the motivation for that alone!
This year, I’m still healing, but am so much closer to my goal of happiness than I was before. I still have my bad days of course, but the distance is helping me to figure out what and who I want to be. I’m finally learning to think and care more about myself.
The two novels I was stuck between writing (which you can read about here) were stories that, although close to my heart, were ones I had started at a young age and had almost guilted myself into believing one of these MUST be my first novel. It didn’t matter that I had gone over the plots so many times that I was now bored of the stories, or that the pressure to do them justice had overrun the satisfaction or enjoyment of actually writing them. This probably didn’t help my situation last year as it was the only release I gave myself and all it did was make me feel guilty and useless!
That’s why this year I’ve spent the past month thinking of something new. I’ve been playing around with my love of fairy tales (and no I’m not talking the Disney kind!) I’ve been reading back through my university texts of Angela Carter’s Bloody Chamber (most notably The Company of Wolves) and my all time favourite Grimm Brothers tales.
I want my novel to be filled with strong women and have taken inspiration from Sarah J. Maas series A Court of Thornes and Roses (which I’m currently reading) for ideas on how to write such strong-willed characters. The plot revolves around four girls currently with the names Remi, Isabel, Willa, and Dawn who are each inspired by different fairy tales (some who have several attached to them!)
I’m going to keep the plot points a bit of a secret for the time being as I have learnt that I have a bad habit of feeling as though I have to stick to the plans I made at the beginning instead of letting the story flow naturally. I’ve always been a bit of a planner, but it’s been my goal this year to learn to go with the flow, so you’re just going to have to wait and see how it turns out. I will be doing weekly updates on progress and perhaps, if I’m feeling kind, you may get some slithers of plot along the way!
Happy writing NaNo’s! Please let me know in the comments if you’re taking part this month in the comments below – maybe we can attempt to spur each other on!