Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NaNoWriMo: Creating a Novel Idea and Excerpt

Several months ago, I had the idea for my NaNoWriMo novel. I planned and plotted and created character sketches. I knew everything there was about my novel. Then, a funny thing happened while writing it. I realized that the novel wasn't just about Sarah Richards, the main character and inspiration of the title Sarah's Nightmare. This novel was about three main characters, Sarah Richards, her boyfriend Ted Merriweather, and grad student Marc Bishop. With this revelation, the working title changed. Sarah's Nightmare is now Missing.

Currently, Missing is 31,341 words. I even created a mock cover art for it.

I'm looking forward to continue writing the novel, even if things change here and there from my plans.

But, a non-writer or even a writer might ask how a writer comes up with an idea. Ideas can come from anywhere, and nobody finds inspiration in the same things. That's what makes us all great. *grins*

For me, I came up with the idea of Missing from two ideas. One, when I was four-years-old, I was terrified of wall monsters. I saw them and would hide from them. I'd beg to keep my light on. I'd even hide under my parents' bed, so I wouldn't have to sleep in my room and have the wall monsters get me. Only the light keeps them at bay, and a part of me still clutches to those child's ideas. Hence, the creation of the monster in Missing. The second idea came about to what I wanted the monsters to be. Did I want them to be real monsters? Or did I want them to be more human? I chose human. Rumor has it that there is a secret government facility under Mill Mountain. This rumor is central to my plot and the catalyst to the missing children and "wall monsters."

The missing children are special in Missing, and here is the letter I wrote that started what I call the "Cassandra Project." Right now, this excerpt is from Chapter Sixteen, although I could see it being a prologue, too, or placed anywhere in the novel.

Excerpt from Missing:

"The Letter That Started It All"

John S. D. Irvings
115 D Waterloo Road
London, England
United Kingdom

July 1, 1944

The Honorable Franklin Delano Roosevelt
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D.C.

            I am writing to you, Mr. President, to advise you on the horrors I have seen since stationed in London.
            The Nazis' bombs light up the sky every night. London trembles in fear, and they worry they will fall like the French and other nations Hitler and his armies seize. Our victory in Normandy briefly lifted their spirits, but the bombs crumble their resolve a little more every day like their buildings.
            These explosions are not the worst atrocities. The impoverished reign more than England's rulers. This country makes me long for home, but I understand the necessity of my being here so far from home, especially as our Great Nation celebrates our Independence Day.
            I am certain you have heard of such horrifying things about war. War is war, is it not, Mr. President? I know you will agree with me, but what I have seen recently blows away my training and skills that I have learned from our United States Army. I have seen things that only should be viewed as illusions, mere magic acts, or carnival shows. Yet, these things are very real, and I feel a great need to tell you about the Nazis' secret soldiers.
            They fight with neither explosives nor other physical weapons. They had no need for submarines or fighter planes. No, they fight with their minds, and it is more terrible than the worst bomb.
            I have seen these mental soldiers throw a man against the wall with sheer will power. Fire springs from their fingers as easily as if they were made of matches. Then, there are those that know what will happen before it does. They are dreamers and visionaries of frightening proportions.
            Mr. President, I would not have believed them if I had not watched them with my own eyes. We need to see if our own country has such men of powers beyond the grace of God. These men are fear itself.
            Please find a way to stop them or have our own such soldiers. Look into these matters. I am not the only one who knows of them.
John S. D. Irvings
John S. D. Irvings


Cats! said...

Ooo that's really good! I love it.

Cherie Reich said...

Thanks, Lisa!

Aubrie said...

I could see the letter being a prologue as well! Agents don't like to see prologues, though, so I might hold off until later on for that.

Great cover! I like the idea that the missing children are special: what makes them special I wonder.

Cherie Reich said...

Aubrie, that's why I put that letter in chapter sixteen. It fits there with what is going on, but if they want to move it to a prologue (they being editor), then they can. I know how some people feel about prologues, so that's why I stayed away from it.

Thanks about the cover art. It's something I threw together with Microsoft Word. I liked the shadows of people.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Oh, I like that! Very chilling.

Cherie Reich said...

Thanks, Nicole!

Aubrie said...


That's why I thought you were holding off on that. I, myself, love prologues. Oh well. :)

Cherie Reich said...

Aubrie, you know me too well. :D And, I like prologues too.