April is just around the corner, and for me, that means two words: Camp NaNoWriMo.
Call me weird, but I love Camp NaNo even more than NaNo proper. Think about it: flexible writing goals, even more opportunities to talk to other writers, and two sessions per year instead of one?! Sounds like a dream!
For Camp NaNo this April, I’m going to be working on the second draft of my novel. Up until now, the editing process has been very slow-going. In addition to finding time to edit while also getting all my homework done and getting a decent amount of sleep, I sometimes flip through my first draft and think,
Wow… what is this mess?
Among other things, one aspect of my story I’ve been trying to improve is the relationship between my two main characters, who come together in some very hostile circumstances. Neither of them trust each other at first, but as the story progresses, they come to depend on each other.
Only, I don’t think my first draft shows this.
I’ve read and re-read the book, trying to get some idea of how two kids with deep fears of each other could end up defending each other at a moment’s notice, and how I could justify it. I even started writing a new draft of the story for NaNo proper, but got so bogged down in the details that I couldn’t tell if I was making things better or worse.
And then I went to a protest.
Whether or not you believe that America needs gun reform, going to a March for Our Lives rally over the weekend was quite an experience. And after it was over and everyone had registered to vote and I was walking home, I realized something:
Over a thousand people were at my local march, people of all ages. We had all come together for the same basic reason – to let the world know that we were scared about gun violence, and to voice our desire to change it. Some people talked about school shootings and some people talked about gun issues specific to our city, but we were all there in solidarity and we were going to fight for each other until we could feel safe, so help us God.
And that’s exactly what my characters have to do.
They come from different walks of life – different planets, in fact. They’re not supposed to trust each other, and under different circumstances, they wouldn’t. But somehow, they realize that they’re more alike than different, and that they have essentially the same goal, and that makes them willing to jump in front of hostile alien police to protect each other.
I know. Dark, right?
But I hadn’t thought about my story that way before, and looking at it through the lens of a social issue has given me some ideas about how I can edit it well.
What I’m trying to say is that when you’re writing a book, sometimes you don’t know what it means at first. Sometimes you don’t even know what it means when you sit down to edit it. But that’s okay, because the meaning might be revealing itself to you, little by little.
All you have to do is keep writing, and keep an eye open for it.
How have your stories revealed themselves to you guys? Let me know below!
~~~MandyLog in or Register to save this content for later.