Although I find that I have a surprising number of things to blog about that aren't connected to my NaNo project, it's inevitable that at some point my preoccupation with the larger-loaded project will seep across to here. Against that day, I thought I might outline what I'm working on for NaNo, so it doesn't come as a complete surprise.
The book I've started (I'm at 10,300 words, a very satisfactory position to be in at the start of day 6!) is tentatively titled The Secret Admirer, the Cyber Bully and the Big Birthday - Frankie Loveday #2. It's a sequel to the one I wrote last year, which was originally called Frankie Loveday, Girl Detective, but I have retitled as The Missing Mother and the Class that Didn't Cheat - Frankie Loveday #1.
Here is a little synopsis, in case you are interested:
Frankie Loveday is enjoying the warm weather and relative calm of late spring in Melbourne, especially after all the action a month ago left her triumphant but exhausted (The Missing Mother and the Class that Didn't Cheat - Frankie Loveday #1). But serenity is overrated anyway, and Frankie and her friends are about to be catapulted into two new and engrossing investigations.
Who is leaving flowers, chocolates and love poems for Frankie's acidic school principal, Miss Radeski? Do they have an ulterior motive ... and what could it possibly be?
More disturbingly still, what lies behind the savage but anonymous cyber bullying of Frankie's classmates at school? Who's behind it, and why are they targeting specific kids? Is there another agenda at work here?
Meanwhile, preparations for Frankie's littlest sister's 2nd birthday party are accelerating, with new and grander layers being added daily.
Frankie, Seb, Jen, Egg and their friends have to race against the clock to solve these mysteries before someone really gets hurt ... and get to Vicky's Big Birthday Bash on time.
Like its predecessor, this is a middle-grade novel, aimed at readers aged 8ish to 11ish or so. My chief audience has been my own older daughter (and this year, my second daughter too) and it's their tastes, language, sensibility and interests that I am trying to keep firmly in mind as I write.
The books are written in the first-person voice of Frankie, an 11-year-old Australian girl who's intelligent, funny, fat, red-haired and self-confident. I didn't actually decide to write in the first person - I've never successfully done so before, and I had envisaged (vaguely) a third-person approach. When I started to write last year's book, though, it was honestly like the choice was taken out my hands; Frankie's voice just clamoured to be heard and once I started writing it that way, it flew. I've never experienced such a powerful example of a character coming to life, and it's Frankie's personality, born from observation and long-buried memories, that's carrying these tales forward. It's almost worrying to me that, I admit, I'm not always sure what she's going to do or say next. Automatic writing, indeed :-)
Anyway, that's what I'm up to when not living my regularly scheduled life or posting here!
(If you are also doing Nano and would like to add me as a writing buddy, I'm KathyZucchini on that site.)
This post is part of NaBloPoMo. 6 down, 24 to go!