Rating: Must read
I’ve made it a habit to be a connoisseur of Beauty and the Beast stories. My favorite...
I decided to not participate in NaNoWriMo this year mostly because I didn’t have time and I was too stressed to properly write 2000 words a day this month. But since quitting, I’ve actually come to feel better about my decision.
Prior to working on this novel, I have finished three other novels—two of which are well over 100,000 words each. I know that I am capable of finishing. I have confidence and faith in my own writing.
Tonight I sat back down with my novel for the first time since I stopped writing for NaNoWriMo two weeks ago. I feel refreshed and ready to keep working. I don’t need to bang out this novel in a month. I need to take the time to hone the voices of my characters and really figure out where this story is going.
All I did tonight was edit the Prologue. But I made some important changes. I modified the voice of the narrator for this little chapter (it’s a character that we only get to hear from in this one small part), and tried to make her sound unique from Brea, the main female character of the book. I also weeded out the bad sentences I’d left in from before because I didn’t have time to fix them. Without a deadline I did more for this 1300 word section than I did when I first wrote it.
If you’re interested in reading, the full text is below. I wish good luck to all those still hammering away at their NaNoWriMo novels, and encouragement to those who made the hard decision to drop out.
The coin was heavy in Tondra’s hand. Everything around her was quiet. It was Sunday morning and everyone was up the hill at church, where she was supposed to be. She’d snuck the coin out of her father’s purse during the long monotony of the sermon. She knew he would find it missing soon, just as he would begin to wonder where she was. But today was her eighteenth birthday, and it was her right to come down to the wishing well.
This year has been much harder for me than last year. The main reasons: I’m in a relationship, I have a job, I’m a manager with my press, and my classes are harder. All excellent reasons (i.e., excuses) to just quit now.
But I’m not going to. Because I do want to write this book, and because I love writing.
I’m behind on my word count, but I’m going to do my best to get caught up this week.
Day 3: 1583 words. Technically below what you should write each day, but I was ahead the last few days so I’m going to let myself stop a little early. Also, my computer battery is dying.
None of the scenes I wrote today are very action-oriented. I stopped just before the fateful moment when Brea’s father steals the rose cutting and the beast appears. What I did write is interesting and good for the story though.
The main section of what I wrote was from the Beast’s (or Alan’s) POV. It’s him watching Brea and her father enter the house (which they see as empty) and settling in for the night. Mostly the scene is observation, internal dialogue, and then a little external dialogue when one of the other girls appears to view the new addition. I tried to set up some tension and some foreshadowing, which hopefully works.
What I started writing next (and I usually don’t let myself stop before I finish a chapter) is the very beginning of the scene I mentioned above. Brea and her father get up the next morning and decide to explore the house a bit before they leave. I’m still finding that Brea and her father are very distant, and I’m curious to see how that is going to play out through the rest of that chapter. But that’s something for tomorrow.
Day 2 of NaNoWriMo 2012: 4403 words.
It’s a pretty good start. And it’s a miracle that I wrote that much tonight. I had a really hard time getting started, though once I did I was happy with what I wrote.
First off I wrote my first Alan-centric (i.e., the Beast) chapter tonight. It was fun and I really like him already. I’d toyed around with the idea of writing some of the story from his perspective before, but I’d never seriously considered it, but dual male/female POVs is such a hallmark of YA. But now that the book is YA is doesn’t matter and I get to do what I think the book really needed all along. Hopefully it will continue to go well. The hardest part I’m going to have with this is switching perspectives every other chapter as I plan. I think that’s going to be the easiest way to keep track of whose eyes you are seeing the story through.
The second thing I learned today was that in this version of the story Brea (Beauty) and her father aren’t all best buds like they usually are in Beauty and the Beast retellings. In fact, they don’t really get along that well. I didn’t plan this dynamic so I’m going to let it play out and see where it takes me.
Like last year I set up a separate blog where I’m going to post what I write each day. Check it out here: beautynanowrimo.tumblr.com
I used to suck at describing my books to other people. I’d tell them I was working on a book and they would say “what’s it about?” And then the floundering would begin. I’ve gotten a little better over the years (due to a very insistent English teacher—thanks Dr. Emery). So here’s my NaNoWriMo synopsis for The Beast and the Beauty:
We all know the tale. Girl goes to a strange castle to live with a Beast. She falls in love; he falls in love. They all live happily ever after. But what if there was more to it than that? What if the Beast’s curse isn’t so simple as him being just a Beast? And what if Beauty isn’t the first girl who tried to break the curse?
Enter Brea, the daughter of a poor lord who has lost everything over the years. Her mother died when she was ten, leaving her daughter with a rose garden and a few fond memories. One day on a trip to visit her grandparents, Brea and her father stumble across a crumbling mansion in the woods. But what appears to be a run-down estate proves far more dangerous: for it holds a beastly man, and twelve girls trapped there with him. When Brea’s father steals a cutting from the dead rose garden, a choice must be made: either Chapman can pay for his theft, or Brea can stay with the Beast for one year. And so the story begins…