Hey! Sorry this post is a week late, but I've been so busy with, you guessed it, National Novel Writing Month!
For those who don't know, NaNoWriMo is where writers all around the world band together to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November. Last year, I wrote Hide And Seek, my debut novel, in NaNoWriMo, and here I am again!
This year, I'm writing another psychological thriller/mystery. It's an odd mix of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and Lauren Oliver. It's been stretching my writing skills, that's for sure! This is the first time I've written in present-tense third-person, so I've been playing around with that and figuring out how to use it most effectively. I'm also finding a challenge in my characterization, due to the fact these characters I'm writing are so odd and distant and unreliable as narrators. I'm very used to writing honest, lovable characters (eg. Ellie from Hide And Seek), and so it's been fun and also difficult to play around with them and see just how they work and interact with one another.
I wrote a little synopsis for the story on my NaNo profile page, which you can read below:
The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues…Under the shining, freshly polished face of the Hawthorne Academy, there's dark secrets, twisted lies and dangerous students.There's fights, parties, challenges… and murder.Gemma Stone's death brings along with it police investigators, reporters, and a whole lot of suspicion. The girls at Hawthorne have been getting away with everything for centuries. It's part of their identity. But will Gemma Stone's death unmask their darkest secrets, exposing them to the retribution they know all too well they deserve?
It's not the best summary for the story, but if it intrigues you, let me know! I've been wanting to write it for ages, and it seems to be coming together okay. I also have a few excerpts to share with you! Throughout the month, I will try to keep you guys updated with not only my progress but also bits of my story. Here are some snippets from the (completely unedited!) manuscript:
And so Esmerine has never worried about going under a car as she runs across the darkened highway. She has never worried about the water that might spill into her lungs as she tries to escape the ropes the hold her at the bottom of the river. She has never worried that the amount of foreign substance she puts into her body will do her harm, because she does not care if her death comes about playing dangerous games with dangerous girls on the fringes of school property. If her end comes in the form of squealing, cheering girls, short dresses, her lipstick smudged on her perfect collar, her youth glowing on her face as the light drains from her eyes, she will be content. Better than being bored, as she always said.
“People think I murdered Gemma,” she says quietly.
Esmerine shrugs. “People think many things. Did you know that, according to the first years in Mr Roberts’ English class, I have an exotic European boyfriend who whisks me away each night, and showers me in endless gifts? What a fanciful life I lead!” she says. She speaks with her hands, they punctuate her words and add a new level of crazy to conversing with her.
“Do you think I killed Gemma?” Olive asks, her voice steely.
Esmerine laughs. “God, no. Well, I don’t think so. You never know… You’ve got to be careful of the pretty, innocent ones,” she says, tapping Olive’s cheek. She lowers her voice. “They are, sometimes, the maddest.”
Olive doesn’t know what to make of this. There isn’t much consolation in Esmerine’s half-trust in her. The way Esmerine smiles makes it seem as if she knows all Olive’s secrets. Perhaps she does. Wouldn’t be surprising. Esmerine seems to know everything; and she’s unexpectedly smart.
“Did you kill her?” It’s not a question she expects to be answered truthfully. But then again, Esmerine is so insane, she transcends all expectations Olive seems to have.
Esmerine just grins. “Good question! Do you think so, Amateur Detective James? Look at the evidence, darling, and make your deductions!” She draws out her words, mocking.
Olive rolls her eyes and shoves her way past Esmerine. “I have things to do. Things that don’t involve conserving with power-obsessed, emotionally dry lunatics.”
So there are some snippets from the story! Let me know what you think in the comments below or via any of my socials or even through a message on the NaNoWriMo website, if you are also participating. I'd love to know what you think!
If you are participating in NaNoWriMo this year and you would like to friend me, go to my page and add me! Send me a message letting me know you came from my blog and I'll add you back and we can be writing buddies! I'm so excited to keep writing and updating you all, and I'd love some more buddies to write with this month.
I'll see you with another post and some more updates on my progress soon!