Today, I’m going to present a little challenge to you good readers: can you figure out what is different about my blog? Just kidding – it’s a bit too obvious to make a challenge out of it. But because I enjoy stating the obvious, I will point out that I have a new blog theme along with a new background image. The theme is Twenty Ten, which I realise is not exactly the most original choice in this area. Twenty Ten is the most popular blog theme on WordPress, and if you look around the blogosphere a bit you will notice that an awful lot of people have it. Still, it must be popular for a reason. Right? Anyway, I am very happy with it. I hope you readers are too, as it is kind of hard to ignore if you want to read my posts. I’d love to hear what people think of it, so feel free to let me know in the comments.
However, as much as I am sure my blog theme is an endlessly fascinating topic, that’s not what I really wanted to write about in this post. In my last post, I said that I would be posting updates on my progress with NaNoWriMo in future posts. Since that last post, which only contained a very brief summary (more of a topic sentence, really) about my NaNoWriMo project, I have been doing a lot of thinking, plotting, and planning for it.
Ah, writing plans for writing. To be honest, I have never been brilliant at it. I usually just sit down and write, working it out as I go along. Often, I end up writing my outlines after I’ve written the main body of writing. Sure, I go back and edit, but I only do that once I’m finished with the main writing. Planning before you even start writing is a completely different issue.
Not that I don’t plan at all, of course. I have been making a conscious effort to plan, plan, plan this novel before the start of November, mostly out of fear of being completely unprepared when the month starts. I have a handful of rather fleshed-out characters, another bunch of supporting characters, and details on aspects such as supernatural race characteristics, setting, and names for just about everything. It’s only the plot that’s really giving me trouble. “The plot?!” I hear you say, “The plot is the most important part of the whole story! Without a plot, you can’t even have a novel.” And yes, I realise that a lack of a plot is probably a pretty good way of lacking a novel. But never fear! I have something of one. At least, I have a few elements of a plot: starting point, conflict, and (potential) resolution. I’m just having a teensy, little bit of trouble filling the rest of the plot in. But enough rambling about plot (or lack thereof), let me tell you about the parts of my novel planning that are actually going somewhere.
My novel is at this point tentatively titled The Other Town. Oh, the imagination it took me to come up with that one, I tell you. I was originally going to call it Weird Kids, Strange Town. However, I found that title looked too much like two separate titles, and I couldn’t put a comma after it because it became hard to tell when its name began and ended (I had to change my entire last sentence structure just to avoid this problem). Another option was simply The Weird Kids, but I decided against that also. So for now we’re settled on The Other Town, though this could change at any time. Now, in order to understand why its title makes even the slightest bit of sense, you need to know the rough plot of The Other Town.
The story is set in the small, fictional town of Arcandale, Scotland. The town is inhabited only by people who are members of Other Races (also known as Others), which are humanoid races with supernatural traits or powers that prevent them from being classed as humans. Vampires, werewolves, witches – all are examples of Others. The parish council, whose members are all Others, controls the influx of newcomers to the town in order to ensure that no humans are able to live there. It has been this way for centuries, the Arcandale people are used to it, and nobody could see it changing any time soon. But then a family of humans manages to buy a house in the town, and the people of Arcandale must make up their minds as to whether they will accept the family (and all the complications that brings with it) or work together to force them out.
That’s the main plot of the story. What I didn’t mention in that brief summary is the situation with the main characters, which I sort of explained in the previous post. To put it simply, they are all children. Well, my definition of children, anyway. They are going to be somewhere in the age range of 12-14 years old, though I’m not entirely sure where. Although adult, teenage, and infant/toddler characters will feature in the story, the main focus will be on the reactions of these children to their new neighbours – the humans. I’ve spent quite a while thinking up, naming, and expanding on these characters, and so far I’ve come up with a small band of children of various races and powers. By the way, in case it wasn’t clear a few paragraphs ago, in The Other Town “race” generally refers to whether someone is a human or an Other. It doesn’t reference someone’s heritage, nationality, or ethnicity, unless their human-vs-Other race relates to them.
That’s just about enough on NaNoWriMo for now. I will probably put up some more details on these characters, the Other races, and/or (fingers crossed) something of a plot in the next NaNoWriMo-related post. Until then, any questions, encouragements, or pointing-out-of-flaws relating to my NaNoWriMo project are welcome.