NaNoPlaMo Unleashed

I meant to do more of these to be honest but… well, disaster happened, you guys. As you know from before I had my idea (tidally locked planet, vampires etc) in place. Well, I was outlining it and a pretty big realisation hit me.

I hated my plot.

Now, for what it’s worth at this point, I think the original idea has merit. At first I panicked and soured on the idea, but I’m sure something can be salvaged out of a tidally locked planet with vampires on the dark side. But nothing about the plot was coming together in a way I liked. Oh, and this all happened three or four days ago, leaving me less than ample recovery time to completely rework my outline from the ground up.

So, I did what any sane person would do under the circumstances. With less than a week left until writing was set to commence, I abandoned the idea completely. No more vampires, no more tidally locked planet. Just threw it out the window and started over.

It’s not as bad as it sounds, honestly. I already had a lot of character names, and even names for towns. Naming is always the most difficult part for me, so that was a relief. And, best of all, I have a whole pile of ideas to draw from. I used to keep them in notebooks, now they’re hidden away in a document, somewhere in the deepest recesses of my hard drive.

I decided I would go with something a little different than I’ve tried before. This year I’m ditching science fiction and fantasy, and I’ve opted for something more along the lines of a family drama. Not a drama aimed at families, a drama about families.

Our hero is Jonathan Hargreave, a mediocre writer whose two books have both flopped, and a functioning alcoholic. In one last bid to get his career back on track, he heads down to Port Sunlight, Louisiana, home to the infamous Great Revelation Baptist Church, and their charismatic leader Eli Sanders. Eli and his family have made a name for themselves with their homophobic bigotry, and Jonathan hopes to be the first to get a true inside look at what they’re all about. But what happens to his own family when he starts to find more truth in Great Revelation sermons than his AA meetings?

When I was pitching the idea to friends, I came up with the snarky elevator pitch of “The Shining, with homophobia instead of ghosts.” So far, the working title is The Church (it’ll change, don’t worry) and I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve never tried to write anything with as large a cast before (ten main players across both families and other secondary characters), and I’ve never really stepped out of my genre fiction comfort zone. I’m hoping this will give me the chance to really sink my teeth into some solid character interaction and dialogue, as well as doing justice to Louisiana as a location.

Less than five hours until writing commences, here we go!


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