It’s Day 12 of this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo challenge. I am either hard at work or hardly working (who can tell?) on finishing the first draft of my Terrible Romance Sequel story. Here’s how it’s going…
So, as you may have guessed from the very clever (hopefully working) title, the Terrible Romance Sequel is supposed to be a romance (albeit a terrible one), but it’s coming together much differently than Love & Other Lies. Which is causing me absolutely no anxiety at all. (Translation: all the anxiety in all the world, but to be fair, that would be true regardless of how the story came together).
Anyway, complete lack of anxiety aside, a while ago, I was talking with a writer friend about my some of my concerns with the Terrible Romance Sequel and how I felt like it was lacking a subplot, but I was struggling to figure out one that would actually serve the main plot. In doing so, I supplied him with a quick synopsis of the story as it existed in that moment. Then he said, “Oh, so the romance is the subplot.”
To which I responded:
Which means that, in true terrible romance fashion, the Terrible Romance Sequel is living up to its name because the romance has somehow become the damn subplot. Which is probably…not great, maybe, but it leads to another, bigger, more pressing concern…
If the romance is the subplot, that means the main plot is this mystery/suspense thing.
Which is a problem because it turns out that I am just as bad at writing mystery/suspense things as I am at writing romance. You may not have thought that was possible, but it totally is.
I mean, I guess the saving grace is that my main character doesn’t know how to solve a mystery, either, so we’re stumbling through this thing together. We’re all, like, “Wait…is that a clue? It might be a clue. It could be a clue. What do we do with it if it is a clue?”
Maybe we need to watch some Murder She Wrote or Blue’s Clues or something.
I’m hoping that I’ll be able to stumble and fumble my way through this first draft, tripping over clues when they reveal themselves and finding (however accidentally) my way to the end. It’s a first draft—it doesn’t need to be pretty. It just needs to be done. The second draft is, as my good friend Neil Gaiman once said, when you make it look like you knew what you were doing all along.
Which I certainly hope turns out to be true. Because right now?
Word Count Goal: 20,000
Where the word count should be: 8,000
Where the word count actually is: 8,449
Number of words to go: 11,551
Storyboard status: (Reminder that pink Post-its are completed chapters. Teal is incomplete. The white space in between is where I have no idea what will happen, but I think something should happen there.)
That’s gonna do it for me for now. I need to get back to Camp. But tune in next week for another action-packed installment of Postcards From Camp.
How are things in your corner of the world? Have you written a mystery? Any tips for me and my main character?