NaNoWriMo 2014: Day 23 – Catching Up

Giada Mock Up

Idea for a book cover. I’m sure I can find someone to do better.

You’re not going to believe what happened this week. Yep, I fell behind yet again. This time I was two a little more than 4K behind, and I got within 600 words of par. All it took was me jumping into the car, driving an hour, and parking my rear end in a chair in a coffee house in the great city of Lubbock. And also coffee, delicious coffee. Why am I shaking? Co-co-coffee! Whee!

The trouble I’m running into, in addition to working nights, is trying to advance the story forward. I get to the end of a scene and I’m left wondering, what now? It can be a little frustrating. I know the ultimate destination, but I’m having trouble steering myself that way. I’ll get there eventually. I’m taking the extended scenic route.

A problem I found was that I had a character that did nothing, but is the one that started Giada on her journey. Francesco Manfredo needed to be introduced as more than a place holder character. I wish I would have realized that sooner, but I brought him in, and he’s giving me a wealth of information. Another character is proving to be a surprise, which I’m enjoying. He went from White Hat to crazed stalker.

For now, I’m going to take a nap and start on Sunday’s writing. I hope to get ahead today and tomorrow. Only one week left. I don’t want to lose it now.

My NaNoWriMo Synopsis

Here’s the synopsis of my story. You can find me on the NaNoWriMo website at Joe Hinojosa.

Having survived a tumultuous childhood, Giada wanted to escape the life of poverty that had defined her young life. Seduced by the promise of easy money, she began to cater to the rich and powerful of Rome, never imagining the depraved appetites of the elites. To her surprise, she found that she enjoyed every moment of hedonistic bliss.

Now in her mid-twenties, she had given up on the notion of love, especially after witnessing the loveless marriage of her deceased mother and the man who dared call himself her father. Instead, she embraced each new client, allowing herself to be used to gratify whatever desire her client would want, satisfying her own lust for life.

That is until he came came along….

Fearing for her life, Giada turned to the one organization that she had rejected after her mother’s tragic death. Repulsed by the hypocrisy of the eunuchs running the sacred institution, she is forced to make her peace with the church, finding safety in the most unlikely of people, a humble priest from America. Through him, she is confronted with her past and the ghosts that threaten to consume one of the hingemen of the church.

With the priest, she finds that she has to make a choice, one that will either lead to salvation, or to eternal damnation.

In search for a plot

Participant-2014-Web-BannerFellow Wrimos, we’re going on less than thirty-six hours before NaNoWriMo 2014 kicks off, and I can’t be more excited! And terrified. I just realized that though I know who I want to write about, and I have a general idea of where I need to end up, I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to get there. It’s a little like taking a trip from my house to Maine without consulting a map. Nope, I’m going to be my usual pantser self and drive, hoping I get there in one piece.

At least in the car, I know the general direction I need to take, and I can read road signs. Maybe it wouldn’t be the most efficient way, but I’d certainly get there. But with this story, I need to figure out a plot, even a loose idea, that can move me along. I have part of her history down, and I think I know why she choose to become an escort, but how did she get there?

What I know about my main character, Giada, is that she’s extremely intelligent, with an appreciation for literature, art, music, and working knowledge of politics. What scares me is that I’m not so intelligent, and I have a very limited knowledge of the list above. Also, I know nothing about escorts, pornstars, and the interactions between them and the clients that hire them.

What am I to do?

As with everything, I’ll just fake it and hope it makes sense. I know more than I’ll admit to myself, and I’ll research what I need as I go along. I have a feeling that there will be some nefarious character, a Cardinal working in the Vatican, that will incite the troubles against Giada, forcing her to ally herself with the very institution that she turned her back on, the Catholic Church. As a bonus, I’ll get to meet Israel Mendoza, the main character in my first NaNo novel, as a young priest.

But why is a Cardinal, one of the hingemen of the church, so interested in a mere prostitute? I have an idea, but I don’t think I’ll share that reason, at least not yet. All I know is that when I wrote her into my story back in 2011, she was just a throwaway character, a bit of revenge against someone who did me wrong. Naturally, I fell in love with her. She’s broken and jaded, but I understand her brokenness. Also there’s a joy and an innocence in her that belies her worldliness. I can relate to that, too.

As with everything I write, there’s a personal reason for my telling. I think with her, my reason is that she’s ultimately what I created, a throwaway character. That’s what I feel I am to those around me. She’s used and discarded, with no one to love or to be loved. That, too, is how I feel at times.

But she’s the hero in her story. She may live a sinful life, but she’s not beyond the call of redemption. She may sell her body for earthy pleasure, but in her soul there’s still a place unblemished by the touch of man. No matter how worthless she feels about herself, she will find that she does matter to someone who prizes her above everything and everyone else.

Too bad I don’t know how the hell I’m going to do it!

The Jasmine-Giada Substitution

I finally hit the point of collapse, at least as far as my story goes. When I last visited you, I shared an excerpt from the book I’m rewriting, which I’m calling Jasmine, but formerly called Unseen Obsession. I hate that title!

I’ve been doing some minor revisions in grammar, language, and spelling. I’ve cleaned up a few scenes, adding and subtracting as needed to ensure a coherent story line, but I’m not at a point where minor revisions become wholesale rewrites. As written, Jasmine is sent an envelope with white powder in it, which can only be assumed to be anthrax. So far so good. But then? Nothing. It turns out to be bogus and it disappears. There’s no point in having it in the story if there’s no real drama attached to it!

Either I have to ramp up the pressure to find out who’s behind the letter, or I need to make a substitution. My thought was to have a box rigged to look like a bomb. It’s kind of the same thing, but I avoid the whole bio-hazard angle. Trying to work that in is causing me headaches. I’ll still have to force the issue and have an investigator try to find who’s behind it, suspecting the whole time that it’s either Jasmine’s new love interest, a suspect in an unsolved crime, or a jealous ex that’s acting territorial.

I doubt I’ll figure this out by Friday and the beginning of NaNoWriMo. I’m not worried about it, but it would be nice to have that figured out before I jump into a new project. I briefly considered skipping NaNo this year, but I’ve enjoyed the challenge since 2011. I can’t just skip it. I think it’s fun, and good for me, too!

So I’ll work on Jasmine until the last minute before shelving it for Giada. Now that I’ve written that, it looks like I’m in some sort of love triangle. What the hell! Why not? If writing is my love, at least I have two women vying for my attention. I have other stories that also need some attention, but if I keep up this metaphor, I don’t think bringing up a priest or some teenage girls is the right thing to do. Honestly, it’s a little creepy. Not that I’m against creepy, but there has to be a line drawn somewhere, and I think I just crossed it.