Sometimes the story plans itself!
Realise. If you follow me on social media, you would have seen me hashtag that word in my stories, and sometimes in photo captions. In case you don’t, Realise is the name of the novel that I am writing! You can read more about the story’s origin in various Nanowrimo-themed posts on this blog as linked below:
- Nanowrimo 2018 – In which I talk about Nano 2018, why I chose to write this story, where the idea for Realise came from, and some Pinterest inspo for the novel!
- Nanowrimo Update – The first and only Nano update, where I unleash more secrets about the three main characters, and an updated Pinterest board!
Now that you’re all caught up, let’s move on to the real issue here, and the reason why I never finished Nanowrimo last year.
My character is actually being the sh*t that I said she would be…
In other words, I could never figure out her motive in the novel AND keep the original storyline that I wanted.
Well, not it seems that I have. Partially. There is still more work to be done, but after planning out all 23 potential chapters of this bad boi, and filling various pages of my new notebook – which was once an old notebook with all the used pages ripped out – dedicated specifically for Realise, I have come to some sort of peace with what is happening.
From other writers that I follow on social media, it seems as if their characters have a mind of their own and don’t like to listen to the plot, creating their own and ultimately making the story
still awesome! Jaz (my main protagonist) is doing the exact opposite. She is using that mind of her own to steer the story in a- well there is no direction, that’s where I had to use my brain.
Planning may actually be important. Who knew?
I thought that the basic 24 chapters worth of heartfelt rubbish I had pulled from my 2014 published works on Wattpad would be enough of a plan to carry the novel. Oh, how wrong I was. It wasn’t until a few failed attempts to move the story along, and finally reaching chapter 10 that it hit me.
What makes my novel unique?
None of my characters is LGBT+, they aren’t in space, or going after the Faerie king to retrieve a very dangerous book on dark magic. These humans are literally just every day – mostly insecure – people in a very average situation, living the most hetero lives they can.
So how am I relevant to today’s YA crowd?
I don’t want to make the decision to change the sexual orientation or romantic preference of one of my characters for the sake of relevance because then it defeats the whole purpose, and I do remember Jes Layton said something wonderful on this topic at an event she was speaking at. She said something along the lines, that when she writes a story, the main character will be more than their sexuality. Much like her short story in the Underdog anthology, where the character is non-binary, but that wasn’t anything to do with the decisions they made that drove the plot.
Now I’m still stuck.
With relevance still being the forefront of my mind, but appropriate representation also screaming at me, the next thing I thought about was myself. Not sure if you see where I am going here.
Us as humans go through a lot in our lives, and as a woman writing an average ass female protagonist who is already an insecure shh*t-head, it is really easy to slip some anecdotal moments in there. To add depth to Jaz – the protagonist – and give her more character, I walked down the path of own voices. I decided to put her through councilling and gift her with some mental health battles. Although, where all these mental health dilemmas are cool and well in a contemporary, something I do not want for my character is for her to be “fixed” at the end of the novel, because
this isn’t a fairytale, this is true life.
The only thing I haven’t been able to-
OH SHEIT! I just got it!
I was going to segue into motives but it seems like my train of thought just collided with it. I’m writing this dang post in hopes of finding Jaz’s motives for the entire plot of Realise. Here I am talking on about anecdotes and unruly characters when the only thing unruly is my memory. I just needed to collect all of thoughts and bingo! Motives are solved!
The missing piece of my puzzle – motives – is what that separates Jaz’s experiences from my own. It is an event that I cannot pull an anecdote for, but I may just be able to use aspects of some stories of mine, mould them the right way, and create the perfect piece for my puzzle.
Question: Motives? Answer: More conflict.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HELPING,
and letting me ramble to you. This has helped me plan my story out, finally come to a loving comfortable state of mind, and let out that toxic air that was clogging up my lungs. I legit can breathe clearer. No joke! If you ever need to sort something out, talk it out, and when that doesn’t work, ramble to your audience and you will be rewarded.
I do promise that once I have an established synopsis for this novel I will discuss it here exclusively on Jasper + Spice. You’ll receive the elevator pitch and full character cast. I’m so happy with how it is all coming together, as well as the crazy progress I made on this post.
Here are some well deserved Pinterest inspo photos for Realise:
Are you writing anything?
Do you plan your story before or during the writing process? xxx
With Love Bree xx
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