What I’m Working On–Karen’s Not Home & NaNo Preparation

Hey guys, it’s Day 3, which means today I’m going to let you know what I’ve been working on story-wise. This week I’m still working on writing my YA horror novel, Karen’s Not Home.

Karen's Not Home Cover

KNH is about a girl named Melanie who goes to spend the summer with her aunt, uncle, and younger cousin while her mother is treated for her alcoholism. Five years before, her older cousin, Karen, disappeared without a trace. While Melanie stays with her family, she starts to notice some very bizarre things. Things such as the home phone ringing and displaying Karen’s name and old cell phone number, or how Karen’s stuffed rabbit keeps showing up in new places, or lights flickering at odd moments. Soon Melanie begins to wonder if Karen may be home, after all.

It’s a story that I created a few years ago when I was attending a community college for my graphic art degree. During that time, I’d gotten really hooked on Stephen King. I was at the college early and hardly anyone was around. I was sitting in the student center/cafeteria doing some reading when down the hall, I heard a woman talking on her cell phone. I heard her say, “No, Karen’s not home,” and suddenly it gave me an idea.

I started it originally from the mother’s POV, but had a difficult time writing it. I ended up putting it aside to write my adult version of Strawberry Sunrises, which was called Strawberry Haze (before I realized SH was a drug, darn it!) back then. A year ago, after I became hooked on both reading and writing YA, I thought back to Karen’s Not Home and thought it might be neat as a YA story. So I added in Melanie’s character, and so far it is going well.

This is a lesson that sometimes it takes a new direction to make your story idea work. So if you can’t get your idea to work right away, put it away and save it for later. You never know when inspiration for an old idea can take place.

Anyway, I’ve written about three chapters of KNH and am working on writing as much as I can before next month–NaNo! I’m taking a break from Whispers of the Heart. I’ve kind of hit a road block, plus I have misplaced my notes (AHHHH). Hopefully I will be able to find them and get back to that book after NaNo.

I’m about to start preparing for NaNo. As mentioned, I will be re-writing my completed coming-of-age novel, Strawberry Haze (sadly having to change the title since as much as I like how it sounds, it is a drug–why, why, why!-and I don’t want it to be associated with drugs!), as a young-adult coming-of-age novel called Strawberry Sunrises.

Strawberry Sunrises Cover
Original picture source: weheartit.com

Strawberry Sunrises is about a young girl named Elena and the summer that her family travels to her parent’s hometown. Elena quickly makes new friends and later experiences a tragedy that will affect her for the rest of her life. A few years later, Elena returns to face her demons concerning the tragedy and learns to move on with her life.

Originally Elena was almost twelve for the first part of the book, and twenty-three or four for the second part. Though I like the book, I think it may work better as young-adult. So in this version, Elena will be thirteen/fourteen in the first part of the book, and around seventeen/eighteen in the second part. I’m looking forward to writing it and will be sharing my progress on the blog. I also plan to post the rough draft on Wattpad for a limited time.

My preparation for NaNo includes:

* Locating my old, completed copy of Strawberry Haze

* Locating all the old notes for Strawberry Haze

*Re-writing the outline and character sheets for Strawberry Sunrises

*Having the Scrivener (the writing program that I adore and use) project file for the book saved and ready to be written in for when NaNo arrives

*Dedicating the book to a good friend who read the original draft for me, Mr. John C. Williams

So that’s what I’ve been up to writing-wise this week. If you’re a writer, what have you been up to? I’d love to hear about it! Who else is preparing for NaNo? Less than a week away!

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