Yes, oh yes, it is almost November. In 5 short days I’ll be kicking off NaNoWriMo 2009, my first attempt to write a novel. To prepare I’m being conscious on my personal pitfalls. I’ll be starting early and hard, knocking out Act One by the end of Week One. I have no ideas how long Act One will be or how many words I really can write in a day with my other commitments, you know feeding myself, my job. I’m preparing for next week to be eye-opening. I plan on doing something NaNo related everyday rewarding myself on Sundays with a Write-In in Lincoln Square.
Although it feels like I’m diving in head first I actually have a rough plan, basic character sketches and some random notes. So to that end I’m going to write out my outline, probably leaving out the ending with the super suprising twist you all will probably see coming. Also because I’ve yet to figure what that will be. So here it is, the rough, so rough, outline of Cumberland.
Act One opens with the main character, Allison Roberts or Ally, being woken at 5 am by her phone. Her best friend Lis Davis is on the other hand freaking out because it is the first day of high school for both. Ally gets ready for school early and meets Lis so they can walk to school together. Ally has to walk through Cumberland Cemetery to meet at Lis’ house. Typical first day school antics ensue, more so because Ally and Lis are 15 and have previously been home schooled by their parents. The are starting at Varna High(could change) so they can take Drivers Ed and have a normal high school experience. Their other home schooled friend Jensen Marshall was supposed to join them but he is mysteriously absent. On the walk home from school Ally and Lis run into Jensen and find out he will not be joining them at school. Ally is pissed. (Okay so that was way detailed for a rough outline but it’s the first part I’ll be righting so I’ve thought about it, in the car, overcome by the urge to write it down now.)
Act Two is when we’re introduced to Ally’s family at dinner, Mom Joan an organic farmer/orchard and Dad Greg a Short Haul Truck Driver. This is when we also learn Ally’s Big Secret. She can see and talk to ghosts. She knows she shouldn’t, that it only encourages them but it’s her crutch when she gets upset with the living (Jensen). She goes to Cumberland to talk to her friend Georgie Darnell, son of the founder of the settlement that grew to become the town (none of which named Cumberland, internal debate on whether to use the names of real places or make em up.)
Act Three involves various school shenanigans like class elections, a cat fight at the Friday Football game, continued fighting/bickering/flirting between Ally and Jensen. Also creepy things start happening to Ally at home and she thinks a ghost is trying to scare her/send a message. Ally meets a new ghost Dawn after an ill-advised senance and works with Lis to find how she came to be at Cumberland so she can be at peace and leave Ally alone.
Act Four will probably include a Fall Ball to continue with the school whatnots. Ally and Jensen will makeup and probably some PG-13 making out only to have an even bigger fight over Ally’s abilities. Things also escalate with Dawn and Ally finds out new things about Georgie.
Act Five will tie everything together and there’ll be a Big Showdown with the Big Bad where good will win, Ally and Jensen finally make up (and maybe some more of that PG-13 making out) and all will be well again in Cumberland. The End
Oddly enough my Word of the Day email has been giving some great quotes in the last week for an epigraph or chapter openings.
“The first symptom of love in a young man is shyness; the first symptom in a woman, it’s boldness.” Victor Hugo
“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head and listen to silence. To have no yesterday and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.” Oscar Wilde. I haven’t verified these yet so proceed with caution.