On the Brink of No-Shave-NaNo
Posted by Luther D. Powell on November 1, 2012
Last year, my blog-predecessor, Ben Erlichman, blogged at the start of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) about his plans for upcoming stories. I thought I’d do the same, for those curious about the different types of stories I come up with, and also to help motivate myself to write said stories. I’m challenging myself for NaNo, but I don’t have an account on the actual site, NaNoWriMo.org.
On another quick note, it is also No-Shave-November, or Noshavember for short. For most guys on campus, that means shaving off facial hair on the night of October 31, and letting it grow uncontrollably throughout November. For me, that just means trimming what beard I have, and letting it continue to do its thing for the month and probably through all of Winter. Because I, for one, do not want a cold chin in this nasty, Ohio weather.
These are all the different stories I currently have in mind to write eventually. A few are pretty well developed, most are just ideas tossed about scattered notebooks. If I remember correctly, Ben Erlichman made up a big planning chart for himself with all his story ideas, but I… don’t make charts. Like, ever. So I figured I would just brief you on each idea, without giving away too much meat, of course.
First and foremost, there’s the werewolf story. It’s the first real novel I ever started writing, and had it (and its sequel) complete until I decided it was terrible and had to rewrite it. The story itself was originally going to span for seven books, but I’m playing it by ear now, considering the vast amounts of changes I’ve made to it. The story follows a variety of characters, most of which are not human (werewolves, vampires, mutants, angels, demons, all that good stuff); teenagers in high school struggling to fit in despite their ‘abnormalities,’ immortals locked in ageless battle with others of their kind, unseen evils trying to end the world, unseen good trying to bring all the supernatural characters against the evil in order to save the world… It’s… ambitious. But it’s MOSTLY about werewolves.
The story I’ve chosen to work on for NaNo is what I’ll call a ghost-romance. It starts off like any other love story: two college students meet at a party, things are a bit shaky at first, but they develop a relationship. Lovey-doviness ensues. The fun part is, the guy has recurring nightmares about horrible things happening to the girl, and strange, disturbing things start happening wherever the girl goes. I won’t give away any more, but I’m pretty excited about this one.
I also have two other ghost stories in mind, one of which I plan to write as a short. The short will be about a vengeful spirit haunting its murderer. The other book will involve a single father and his toddler son (or daughter, haven’t decided). The child is lonely, and begins talking about what seems to be an imaginary friend. Coincidentally, spooky stuff occurs around the house once the child brings up his/her ‘friend.’ The father, being a devout Christian, suspects an evil presence, and seeks help from priests to rid his home of his child’s creepy buddy. Once again, without giving more away, things do not turn out as expected for the father, and he gets himself involved in deeper business…
I plan on writing extended stories stemming from the two shorts I had published a little while back, Double-Edged (in Splickety magazine) and Front Row Seats (in OtherSheep magazine). Double-Edged is essentially about a ‘church-soldier’ in a bleak, post-holy-war future, turning his back on the corrupt church sect which trained him. The extended story would make a good trilogy, taking place during and after the holy war the main character fought in, leading up to the events of the short story.
Front Row Seats is a short story about a man struggling through a recent divorce, his inner battle described in detail during a church sermon he attends. This is probably the least horror-related story I’ve thought up, but its uniqueness comes from the portrayal of the good and evil presence following him around in his daily life. The extended story would pretty much explain all this better than I just did…
Another book I have in the works is a murder mystery thriller. It’s still very premature, but what I have so far is an investigation on a series of famous, gruesome paintings of death (in the story, not real ones) which are being mimicked by a serial killer. So like, there’s some crazy guy going around killing people in ways which are identical to these paintings/drawings, something like that, and somebody has to stop him. Basic murder mystery formula.
To keep up with the times, I’ve inevitably thought up a zombie story. It was to be a short, but I might make it a novel or trilogy. Put simply, two priests fight for survival in a zombie apocalypse. At first I REALLY wanted to entitle it, “Mass of the Living Dead,” but I didn’t want to offend anybody and decided against it.
Finally, the most recent story I’ve come up with is about someone finding (or being given) an empty, old journal. As soon as the MC begins writing in this journal, he/she unknowingly opens the gate into an alternate reality, or maybe several, or the future, or the past, something that ultimately defies the laws of science and stuff. My initial thought was, “journal from the future. That would be cool,” but it’s turned into something bigger than that. We’ll see where it goes from there. The idea was partially inspired by Ted Dekker’s Circle books, but I want to make it scary.
Lots of ideas, lots of time for writing out said ideas. I hope you enjoyed catching a glimpse of the depths of my brain tonight. Happy Holidays for those who celebrate them, cheers and God bless!
Luther D. Powell
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