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Weekly Update 27 March 2021

Camp NaNo, Spring Round

Yup. I’ve gone and done it again. I’m signed up for Camp NaNo, hosted by the same good folks that do National Novel Writing Month in November. For the past two months, I’ve been slowly outlining another shot at Finding Home, which will be the first in the Home duology.

Ian and Jill have been near and dear to my heart since I started writing back in… 2016? 2015? Off-hand, I can’t remember which year I started this insanity. Writing buddy Allie McCormack would probably remember, since she’s the one I blame for the enormous snowball that started its slow roll way back when. I’d been her NaNoWriMo cheerleader for a few years, and that autumn, she dared me to try it for myself.

I was hooked, and while I proved to myself I could write 50,000 words in 30 days with the original, awful version of what has blossomed into the Feladia Chronicles, Finding Home was the first manuscript I finished, edited, and ran through several rounds of beta reading before submitting it to a competition and subsequent query attempts.

That first version of this story was…

Well, it was interesting. A good tale horribly told, breaking so many rules. The professional feedback I got was heartbreaking. I knew it needed a lot of work. I knew it had some serious issues.

I just lacked the experience and learning to know how to fix it.

In 2020, I archived my old manuscripts, vowing to myself to start fresh, instead of trying to “fix” the messes that then-graced my WIP (work in progress) shelf. As part of that process, I sat down with each manuscript and gave them a loving read-through.

When I say loving, I’m talking about fondness. I poured my heart and soul into each terribly-executed story. I’m talking about acceptance. Each manuscript was a step in my ongoing learning journey. I’m talking about forgiveness. It was effort to not pick apart everything I’d done wrong in each story, be it bad sentence structure or terrible plot holes. I didn’t make notes, I simply read and enjoyed.

I came to realize that almost all of my stories fit into either the Charity Bay world or the Feladia world, and I wanted Ian and Jill to be the adult readers’ entry point to Charity Bay. I also added a number of story ideas to both worlds, including a YA Urban Fantasy series for Charity Bay, which will become a focus as I finish the Home duology.

Ian and Jill wouldn’t leave me alone, though, so I’ve been heavily tinkering with their story since the initial drafts of Eagle Mask entered the editing phase for the Theater of Nok-Mondu anthology last summer. I went back and forth between projects, and Ian and Jill kept pushing for attention. Now that Theater is out, I’ve given the future Fitzpatricks my full attention, and I stand on the threshold of drafting the first of their books.

This week’s progress:

  • Finding Home outline about 3/4 finished.
  • Coming Home skeleton/structure outlined.

Targets for next week:

  • Finish Finding Home outline.
  • Begin drafting Finding Home. Camp NaNo begins on Thursday. Target word count: 10,000 words by Saturday.
  • Order plot points for Coming Home.

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