Monday, November 10, 2014

"What's Your Story About?" | A NaNoWriMo Update

Almost two years ago, I moved from my childhood home to my current residence in a town called Webster. I’ve always liked my new home’s name.
I mean, really. I’m a writer who lives in a town called Webster. Isn’t that awesome? (I’m currently trying to petition the need to change our motto to something like “find your definition” or “define yourself.”) What’s more, a neighboring town that I visit often has the tagline, “write your story.” It would seem I live in a writer’s paradise.
That’s what I’m attempting to do this month, during National Novel Writing Month.
I write a weekly column in the local newspaper where I am employed as a journalist and last week I wrote about and explained to my readers what NaNoWriMo is. On the few occasions I have been out of my house since then, people have stopped me to ask how my noveling is going – something that is very encouraging to me.
But then comes the question that causes me to cringe inwardly.
“What is your story about?”
My reply: “Uhhhh...words, and stuff?”
You see, because NaNo snuck up on me this year and I didn’t have much time to do my normal thing – outline – instead, I’m doing what WriMos call “pansting,” which is making up the story as you go along. While it’s true that the idea for this particular story has been roving around in my brain for several years, it involves a complex concept and storyline that I haven’t quite figured out yet.
Besides that, since my work is a tale of fiction – something my newspaper readers may not readily associate me with – I also usually don’t know how to reply or even begin telling them what my NaNo novel is about. I’m classifying it as a Young Adult Modern Fantasy Fiction. It’s not quite High Fantasy, but there are just enough elements of magic to distance itself from the realm of normal fiction.
Upon a brief and hurried attempt at an explanation to a well-meaning church lady who asked that question after services Sunday, she finally said, “Oh, so kind of a ‘Lord of the Rings’ kind of thing?”
Close enough, I thought.
I’m still working on that description for you guys. I’ll share it when I’m ready, but for now, I’m concentrating on word count alone.


  1. Describing your novel is one of the hardest things ever. Personally, I just prefer to keep it to myself for awhile, but it's really hard to figure out what to say that's polite when people ask:P

    Good luck on figuring out exactly what your story is about!

    1. It is really tough! I recently heard about this creation process called the snow flake method and the first step is to describe your story (concept) in one sentence - preferably in less than 20 words. I may try using this concept when creating my next novel, but I'm guessing that first step is going to take the longest and be the most difficult!


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