Saturday, November 09, 2013

Today I had the most free time I've had all month

and the smallest word count. I don't even know ~ writing is hard. 

You guys, I'm afraid my 'novel' has no plot. I'm afraid it is just witty banter between a bunch of random 12 year olds and a ghost, at this point; and (in all honestly) the ghost is not holding up her end of these conversations. Of course, that's what half the banter is about - "stupid ghosts and their cryptic, ridiculous, non-clue-ish clues" .  The other half of the banter is between two 12 year old girls who used to be best friends and then something happened.

 I am not being coy by writing 'something happened'; I legitimately do not know yet. Mostly they're just aiming little poison barbs at each other, with the kind of precision that only (pre)teen girls -and particularly girls who know each other very well - can manage.

I'm trying to decide whether it'll be more awesome if their friendship just sort of... dissolved or if it completely blew up. There's certainly going to be blowing up somewhere, but I think, from my own experiences, that it's more realistic that friendships just kind of... break up, piece by tiny piece, in such dribs *and drabs, so slowly that you hardly notice it, you just feel little twinges along the way, and all of the sudden .... everything's different.

Especially when you're twelve.  I feel like twelve/thirteen/fourteen was a whole 'how the hell did the earth shift out from underneath me' kind of experience, and that's the feeling I'm going for with their friendship.  Of course, people handle that kind of thing in very different ways, and one of those ways (at least in my experience/in this book) is to be super sarcastic to each other.  My main character is a snarky little demon, and the other girl - who was dealing with the same things, but dealt with it by just... moving on, instead of being hurt -  is, now that they're thrown together again (courtesy of aforementioned ghost) is now surprised and hurt by the main character's reaction, and trying to hold her own.

This sounds so ridiculous, trying to explain it like this.  My whole point was... seriously, plot: wouldn't you like to make yourself a little bit clearer, because we still have 33,000+ words to write, and - as much fun as it is to write the sniping scenes - I have a feeling they'll get old pretty quickly. 

Also - I don't know how many of you others are writing mysteries, but how hard is it to write a mystery that is hard enough not to be instantly solvable via Google, but still easy enough for your characters to eventually figure out?  I am having the hardest time, but I've never attempted to write a mystery before. I hope that I'm getting a little bit of slack since they're, you know, 12, but Dang: Google, you are making mysteries very difficult to write!

*isn't drib a word? at this point I might as well be inventing my own language, and we're only  nine days into NaNo!, but I could have sworn 'dribs and drabs' was a saying - Google agrees, Blogger, so you lose!

1 comment:

The Goldfish said...

On mysteries, my rambling advice, mostly from the perspective of a reader:

In fiction, there is a spectrum of mysteries between two extremes: One is a crossword-like puzzle where the reader has to examine every clue and line of dialogue in the hope of working it out before the characters do (although often you can't). The other is where the answer is fairly obvious, but there are obstacles, perhaps emotional obstacles to the protagonists working it out, so the question to the reader is really "Will they ever work it out?" rather that "What's going on?"

In other words, a mystery can be barely any mystery at all if the characters have to go on some kind of journey to realise, accept, convince someone else or absolutely prove the answer. In such cases, it can sometimes make for better story-telling if the answer is very obvious to the reader, because it's frustrating - so long as it isn't frustrating because nobody could be so dim.

I think there's lots of potential for simple mysteries in ghost stories because there are various questions potentially raised, such as, are these phenomenon ghosts? Who are these ghosts? Why are these ghosts haunting this place, coming to the attention of these people, at this time? Are they good or bad? Are they warning folk of something? If so, can this disaster be avoided? Can the ghosts be laid to rest? etc..

Hope that helps in some way, shape or form. Also, I know the whole point of Nanowrimo is getting this done in lightning speed, but sometimes a low wordcount day is more important in the process than a high one.