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I love my WIP

by Theo on February 28th, 2011

I just hit the halfway point  on the first draft of my current WIP, a YA fantasy novel, and I can safely say it’s the most fun story I’ve ever written. Here’s a short summary of it that’s going to be trimmed down for my eventual query letter:

Sunshine Otis meant for this to be the summer of her transformation: out with the old social reject Sunshine whose family history was punctuated by gunshots, and in with Sunshine the cool Goth freak, just in time for ninth grade. But after this weekend at a cabin in northern Minnesota, she’s pretty sure she’ll remember it as the summer she got hunted by a Wendigo. Well, and the summer she finally made friends with Kat and Ron, the two other girls at the grandparent/grandkid retreat. But mostly the wendigo thing, because almost getting eaten by a cannibalistic forest spirit? Kinda memorable.

Except the wendigo is only the beginning. The day after returning from the cabin, Sunshine’s new friends show up on her doorstep, looking for help. Their families disappeared in the night, abducted by something more cunning than the wendigo – something that left behind a list containing the names of all three girls’ parents.

This isn’t the summer any of them expected. Ron didn’t intend to come out of the broom closet (or any other closet) and have her first forays into witchcraft backfire disastrously. Kat just wanted to survive her parents’ divorce, not her first werewolf transformation. Sunshine certainly didn’t plan on digging up evidence that their grandparents are all part of some secret supernatural special forces.

But plans change – especially when monsters with decades-old grudges are involved.

Monsters, kidnapping, secret societies, queer characters, and magic? It’s like a love letter to my high school self. (Dear 14-year-old Nicole: Here’s a book about all these things you love. Also, please do something with your hair, fer chrissakes.)

A short list of things I get to do this week because of this novel:

  • research mythological lake monsters extensively (which I would do for fun anyway)
  • banter about effective exposition with writer friends
  • figure out the best soundtrack for fighting a lake spirit in a mid-90’s Toyota coupe going 60MPH down the highway
  • research how much force it would take to actually kill something with a knitting needle
  • write a version of The Talk that’s about lycanthropy instead of puberty, told using pancakes as visual aids like that sex ed video my fifth grade class watched where the nurse mom explains menstruation to the main characters by pouring a pancake in the shape of the female reproductive system (No, I’m not making this up. It’s called “I Got It! An Always Changing Program Video on Menstruation from Proctor & Gamble,” and the fact that it’s not on Youtube is a goddamn shame.)

Last night I drew up a diagram about how that lycanthropy pancake talk would go. Because, hey, if I’m gonna write such a complex visual scene, I may as well have reference material on hand to do it.

Yeah. I love this novel.

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From → First Drafts, Writing

8 Comments
  1. 'Lista permalink

    This novel needs to be published. My eldest will read it. And then he’ll hunt you down and beg you for a sequel. I’ll be the mom behind him. You know, the one nodding in fervent agreement.

    • Nicole permalink

      I love you. And Eldest. If this thing ever gets published, remind me to send along a copy for him.

      • 'Lista permalink

        We love you back! And I can do that! :o)

  2. Gypsy-Maria permalink

    I need to read this story so hard, and then go back in time and give it to MY 14-year-old self. <3

  3. So how much force *does* it take to actually kill somethign with a knitting needle? Are we talking wood, bamboo, metal or plastic knitting needle? How pointy is the tip? How large a needle? What part of the body is being stabbed? I *need* to know these thigns as well as what happens in your book!!

  4. janalee permalink

    We (that’s me and my kids) agree that the pancake lycanthropy talk is AWEsome. And we need the rest of the book.

    Also, now we’re hungry for pancakes. Blueberry ones.

    • Nicole permalink

      Workin’ on it!

      The book, not the pancakes. Those you’ll have to get yourself.

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