Nanowrimo: The Update Post…

Young desperate girl writing with an old typewriter. Conceptual

Ok, so we’re 11 days into nanowrimo. By the time this post goes live I’ll be on my way to the airport to fly to Queenstown, New Zealand. I have the weekend in Queenstown with friends and then start Milford Track – a 5 day tramp (if you’ve read Wish You Were Here you’d know that hiking is tramping when in NZ) – on Monday. I have the weekend after in Queenstown too. The plan is to come home with locations and ideas for an entirely new project.

Anyways, all of that has nothing to do with nanowrimo except to point out that for 5 days next week I’ll be completely off the grid – no cell phone, no internet, no access to media. It’s a tad like a self-imposed digital detox and I can’t wait to get the noise out of my head so I can hear what I’m meant to be hearing. Of course, this also means that I’ll fall further behind in my nanowrimo project – and I’m absolutely ok with that.

Where am I at the moment? I should be at 16,670 words and I’m at just over 11,000. That’s 11,000 more words than I had at the beginning of November. I’ll probably get another few thousand done between now and when I get off my flight this afternoon – I always find writing at airports and on planes particularly fruitful. It’s something about the noise and the bustle going on around me.

I’m still not sure where this story is headed. At this stage I Want You Back is pure chick lit. The voices are coming through quite loudly, so I’m really just going with the flow at the moment. Because it’s nanowrimo and I’m playing a tad, I’m taking it chapter about in terms of voices and perspective. One chapter I’m first person past tense in Callie’s voice, in the next I’m third person past tense. It will be a pain to tidy up come 2nd draft, but I’m getting a real sense of what works best.

The biggest challenge I’m having at present is to keep my mind on this project and not the next. I was supposed to be writing Callie’s story for nanowrimo last year and put it away to write Wish You Were Here. Wish You Were Here was always intended to be a cross-over book between two series:

The Melbourne Girls:

Emily: Baby, It’s You

Abby: Big Girls Don’t Cry

Callie: I Want You Back

Tiff: (Tentative title) I Don’t Believe In Love

Alice: (Tentative title) Love is All Around

Set in Melbourne, with side excursions to Bali and wherever else I feel like taking them (or they feel like taking me), this series is pure chick lit. The characters are loosely linked, but each story is stand-alone. Sort of like if Love Actually was a series of chick lit stories set in Melbourne, Bali and wherever else I feel like taking them.

The next series

This series is something completely different, where the romance is secondary, and the main cast of characters constant. I’m still playing with ideas, so won’t say too much now – except that it’s set in and around Queenstown.

How does Wish You Were Here cross between the two? We first met Max and Richie (briefly) in Big Girls Don’t Cry…and Brad (from Big Girls Don’t Cry) plays an integral role in Wish You Were Here. Most importantly though, Wish You Were Here introduces us to the main players in the new series.

Clear as mud?

Yeah, me neither.

Rather than giving up on Callie, I’ll persevere – at least until the end of November. I’ll have a better idea by the end of nanowrimo whether she deserves her own story, or whether she just needs to wake up to herself and move on already.

I’ll keep you posted.