Today marks the official 10 day countdown to the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo, and I am pretty amped about participating in the spring this year.
Naturally the biggest decision to make each year is what to write about. For me, this will be Book 5 of the House of Crimson and Clover series so I needed to decide how this story would fit into the greater series, what the plot and importance of the plot would be to the greater series and story, and, of course, who would be the feature characters in this story. Since books 2-4 centered around the Deschanels, I decided to switch to the Sullivans for a change.
To prepare for April, here are some of the things I’ve been doing:
Spending a lot of time on the NaNoWriMo forums, both asking and answering questions. These discussions have really helped get my mind moving.
Brainstorming with my very patient and very awesome like-minded cousin.
Purchased Scrivener with the 50% off coupon so I could use it to try and get organized better early-on in the writing and research process.
Created an outline template that I plan to fill in ahead of time instead of just being a “pantser” as I usually am during a NaNo session.
Built out another 30-40 individuals on my Deschanel/Sullivan family trees.
Researching some of the themes I am exploring in this story, such as necromancy.
After a ridiculous amount of brainstorming (and brain cramps), I’ve come up with my general spoiler-free synopsis for the project:
Quillan Sullivan, 26, has been a lawyer in his family’s law firm for only a couple of years but already the family is talking about finding a way to remove him. Despite being highly intelligent, he is brash, cocky, and irresponsible and the general opinion is that if he does not learn to focus, he will quickly throw his life away. Although Quillan is an only child, he was not always thus; his twin brother Riley tragically died when he was seven. Quillan has been conversing with Riley ever since. He can do this because possesses the very rare and dangerous skill of necromancy, though he does not know it. He thinks that his conversations with Riley are merely a blessing.
When the sister of Quillan’s best friend returns from years abroad, he is spellbound by her. Estella Broussard (a distant Deschanel cousin) is lovely and mysterious, and he is powerfully drawn to her, though she takes little interest in him. When his father brings in some Deschanel heirlooms that the firm is hired to analyze and assess, Quillan finds a box of old letters and keepsakes and he secretly takes them to Estella, knowing she has a special interest in family heirlooms, hoping to impress her.
Although Quillan finds the letters boring, Estella is instantly caught up in their mystery: love letters, written in code, telling tales of magic, prophecy, and curses. Quillan continues to help her try to solve the mysteries of the letters in hopes to grow closer to her, but when they discover a false bottom in the letter box that reveals another layer to the mystery, suddenly the exercise in curiosity becomes extremely dangerous.
As Quillan and Estella grow closer to solving these mysteries- and grow closer to one another- Riley’s conversations to Quillan become tense and filled with strong warnings…warnings to stay away from the letters and, more importantly, Estella. He insists to Quillan that his very life depends on it.
For anyone else participating feel free to add me as a buddy!
Any other fun things writers are doing to prep for April?