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NaNo 2023: Tending our Housefires



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Sun Oct 22, 2023 3:15 am
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alliyah says...



NaNo 2023 | Tending our Housefires



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"This is your inheritance. I'm going to tell you the story of who we are...
from the beginning. And it all starts with the fire."


~~~


INDEX
ELEVATOR PITCH TO THE TUNE OF ELEVATOR MUSIC
WHO & WHERE & WHAT???
MAIN CHARACTER ENERGY
MASHED POTATOES & OTHER SIDE CHARACTERS
WE'VE GOT CONFLICT
GOOD VIBES ONLY
LOOKING FOR ANSWERS: RESEARCH TO DO
STRUCTURE + SCENE WISH LIST


INTRODUCTION
I am VERY tempted to attempt NaNo. Tempted enough to create a thread it seems.

A historical fiction novel about my ancestors has been floating in my head since 2020, and when I thought of adding the Adam & Eve component I feel like that was the glue that made it seem "readable / compelling" - also as I was reading "Cloud Cuckoo Land" by Anthony Doerr - I kept thinking "THIS is the structure I've been looking for on how to write my story" so to actually see a well-done multi-generational novel also has helped me think that this is maybe a story possible to tell.

I am secretly (not-secretly) also sort of hoping my sister decides she wants to co-write this with me; because that would be so much more do-able and I think might actually work. We shall see if she can be convinced!

GOALS
Attempt to write prose! Maybe a scene? Maybe more? We'll see! I have no clue how to write a novel so I hesitate to get too ambitious. A chapter by the end of the month would be cool though!
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return




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Sun Oct 22, 2023 4:04 am
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alliyah says...



ELEVATOR PITCH


An elevator pitch, elevator speech, or elevator statement is a short description of an idea, product, or company that explains the concept in a way such that any listener can understand it in a short period of time. Describe your novel as though it were an elevator pitch.


My novel idea is inspired by my interest in the Biblical narrative and personal ancestry. My working-idea right now is that this is a multigenerational look at a particular family (I would say my family, but it's also your family, and everyone's family) in how they struggle with an inheritance of "little lies" and try to discover the truths, and redeem the stumbles of the generation that came before.

We begin with a retelling of the first story; the story of the first family - the story of Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel - but there's much more to the story than how you've heard it told before. Starting with this - how did Adam explain to his sons how he and Eve had been removed from of the Garden of Eden. To spare himself the embarrassment of explaining how he fell for the lies of the serpent, what if he left out part of the truth? What if it was this omission that led Cain to kill Abel? What if this is the thread that connects us all... that we are all trying to fill in the rest of our family story, before we repeat their mistakes, or worse.

---


MAIN PLANNING PROBLEM
I am still a little undecided on how many generations to actually include within this project. I think they'll be a minimum of 3 + Adam and Eve, but I could honestly expand this to like 6 + Adam and Eve, and am tempted to, but I also think that could be incredibly confusing. I think this type of project may be more "effective" if I try to focus on making each generation almost like a few vignettes instead of trying to give them each a full novel / extensive plot in themselves.

INSPO
Some books that "INSPIRE" the ideal of how this will work out -
"Psalm at Journey's End," "Cloud Cuckoo Land," "The Covenant of Water" <- these books all deal with lots of intersecting POVs and time skips and non-fiction woven into fiction - so going to keep some of their formats in mind as I write.
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return




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alliyah says...



WHO & WHERE
CHARACTER & LOCATION LIST


List down all the characters and locations that will or might appear in the story. Include some that seem unlikely, but might for example be a cool setting to add to a scene that needs some spice. You could also include some names or general descriptions for supporting/background characters that you might need in a hurry.


GENERATION A



LOCATION - "East of Eden" - near the Persian Gulf, at this time the land is not lush or very fruitful, and the family must labor with great effort to produce food from the land.

Adam

Eve

Cain

Abel

Seth

Accuser

GENERATION S



Location - Village East Coast of the US (1690s) though this generation's problems are based on the Salem witch trials, I am actually a little tempted to set this in a different location just to give some variety / and prevent people from taking the novel aspect as strictly historical - still deciding!

Sarah / Rebecca - At this point I don't know if I want to do a retelling of this character that is more strictly historical, or maybe combine two real life people to create more of a fictionalized character - which may give me a little more grace / permission to play with facts to fit the story. This one will be based on my relative who died in the Salem witch trials.

Grand-daughter - Sarah/Rebecca is her main mentor, authority, and inspiration - until Rebecca is accused of the crime of practicing witchcraft. Grand-daughter has to know decide whether her grandmother has been honest all these years or if she's been hiding a dark secret. // May have her testify during a "court" scene ... we'll see!

Judge -

Preacher - Sympathetic character initially, but found to be very dangerous.

Accuser -

GENERATION E



Location - Elm Tree Farm (1800s)

Location - Silver Wing Bar

Harrison - (Hardy/Rudy's Father)

Hardy/Rudy -

Multiple Siblings of Rudy which probably will not get much time!

GENERATION M



Location - Virginia / West Virginia (WWII)

James, Sr

James, Jr

Sister

Brother-in-law

(Grandma) Gama Joleen James, Jr's grandmother - need to decide if she's the maternal or paternal grandma

Father Alton - priest in the coal-town.

GENERATION L



Location - The Tuberculosis Sanitarium (1919)

Archie

Mother

Brother

Chaplain

GENERATION W



Location - by "the Lake"

Warren (tentative name)

Everly (Warren's Daughter)

Janet (tentative name, Warren's (ex)wife)


will fill in more details later perhaps ~~
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return




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alliyah says...



MAIN CHARACTER(S)


Write a few paragraphs about who your main character is before the novel starts. Not what they look like or what they do, but who are they on the inside? What do they believe? Want? Where are they in their life? (Why is the plot of this book you're about to write going to change them?)


Each generation has more of a "main character" so I have a few! I am also still debating if I may want to condense this stuff a little and not have so many generations - so this is just what I "know" so far. One of the recurring themes is "how do you tell your family story when it's complicated" and how "little lies" become more dangerous than the truth. Each generation has some parent vs. child conflict (Father vs. Son + Brother vs. Brother, Grandma vs Granddaughter, Father vs. Son, Father vs. Son & Daughter & Son-in-law, Mother vs. Son, Father vs. Daughter) Each generation also will have some aspect of a "Housefire," story telling, and a "little lie".

Adam

(Generation A) Years mean very little to the first people, so Adam has lost track of how many times the sun has turned since he was first created. Adam is devoted to God's plan for his life and reveres his wife Eve. He is rule-oriented, he is family-engaged. He is a priest and a farmer and as such he pays close attention to the rhythms and seasons of the land - almost like the land is an aging parent to tend itself. His main fault is his belief that in order to keep his family safe, he needs to hide aspects of the truth from them. He carries a lot of guilt around because of his mistakes in Eden, and to compensate for this he is perhaps too rule-focused and over-bearing. He tries to teach his children by telling them stories of God and stories of the garden - sometimes he leaves out important details. Not sure what Adam looks like quite yet, though if he is from the Persian Gulf area, I'm going to assume he may bear some resemblance to the modern Middle-Eastern man. Dark black hair, a scruffy beard with flecks of grey from his age, sun-tanned skin from the long days outside in the fields, a sparkle in his eyes every time he sees the stars, flecks of dirt always in his finger nails, a scar at his side where a rib was once taken by God. Adam's biggest ambition is to serve his family's mission. Tend to the Earth, Tend to each other, Bear fruit for the Lord.

Housefire - misinterpretation of the banning from Eden (the Angels had swords of fires).
Familial Tension / Conflict - Father vs Son, God vs Adam, Brother vs. Brother
Story-Telling Aspect - Tells his sons stories of who they are / garden / creation / God as part of their spiritual practice
"Little Lie" - Lie of omission about being expelled from the garden, lies about guilt, lies about understanding of "the serpent crusher"

Rebecca /Sarah

(Generation S) Rebecca is in her 70s, but she is anything but frail or timid. She adores her husband Francis, whom she is fond of teasing. Despite her hunched back, she carries herself with a certain dignity and strength. She is recognized as an authority within the community because of her long-life, strong-faith, and wise-heart. Many of the young women of Salem deeply respect her and consider Rebecca as their bonus grandmother. Her greatest gift is her ability to weave a story to keep ornery young children in-line, or to teach another virtue of the church. She has been a story-teller all her life, and takes pride in how many of the scriptures she has now committed to memory - a gift which serves her well now that her eye-sight has been failing her. Recently a young girl from the village has been causing shock-waves in town, accusing some of the women of immodest and dissolute living - Rebecca does not know what to think at first, but is very critical of the legal authority's approach to shutting down this sect. One day, the most unthinkable happens - Rebecca herself is accused of being not only a sympathizer with the immodest women, but a practitioner of witchcraft. It is time for her to weave the most important story of her life - the story of the truth. She will find out who her real friends are within the church and village and how far her faith can stretch.

Housefire - debating on either death by fire rather than hanging, or arson in retaliation by the sympathizer of the accuser.
Familial Tension / Conflict - Grandmother vs. Granddaughter
Story-Telling Aspect - tells stories to teach Sunday School, has to tell people the truth in trial / testimony
"Little Lies" - Granddaughter has to be an alibi for friend or grandmother, and lies about where she was. Grandmother lies in testimony to protect granddaughter.

Rudy / Hardy

(Generation E) Rudy is a thief, and a good one too. But he has not always been a thief. He is also a pathological liar, but he prefers to consider himself a "story-teller". Rudy is the eldest of multiple siblings that he is expected to provide for, so he earns his money through theft, and sometimes violence. He has conflicts with his father over who is really the "patriarch" / leader of the family. This escalates to him "leaving" / "abandoning" his family. He thinks maybe it's best that his family is now free from his risky and criminal behavior, that is until his father becomes the one who is a liability. He ends up needing to portray his father "for the good of the family" - but lies to his siblings about what exactly happened in order to preserve their memory of the father.

Housefire - Rudy/Hardy actually sets the local bar on fire to commit insurance fraud.
Familial Tension / Conflict - Father vs. Son
Story-Telling Aspect - Rudy tells stories about "heroes" and family history to his siblings trying to tell stories about himself in a better light though they are usually far-stretches from the truth. Either Rudy or James will remember stories (especially of Creation / Fall) that they learned in church - but maybe they remember them wrongly?
"Little Lies" - Rudy lies a lot to avoid getting in trouble, and ultimately lies to his siblings about their father to prevent them from being disappointed in their father.

James

(Generation M) James has worked in the coal-mines since he was a child, this has strongly colored his life, with this persistent desire to break out of his family and home situation of poverty with very little options. There are a few different directions I may go with for James' story (James is based on a real-life ancestor who I know quite a bit about, just have to decide which aspects of his story are most compelling and would go with the rest of the narrative the best). Some options I may highlight or include: 1) Coal-mining as a child, dangerous (I think this may have some interesting parallels to Adam's farming labor and Cain's un-favored sacrifice, as well as Adam's love of the stars / sun - since people who coal-mine I would assume, love natural light because they most often work in the dark). 2) James' father attempted to kill James' brother-in-law with an axe... both were fellow employees at the mines, I have a lot of "imagined" ideas on what the fight could have been about - I like to think that maybe the father thought he was protecting his daughter in some way? 3) I believe James was involved in the labor riots / strikes during this time-period with coal-miners and rail-road workers, I would have to do quite a bit of research to include any aspect of this, but I think that's a very compelling aspect of history 4) James lost everything he owned in a housefire while he was living with a family that wasn't his own - what would that have done to a person during this time period, what sorts of "social services" were available, how might this have fueled or contributed to some of the family turmoil / disputes later.

Housefire - James lost his house by fire caused by negligence (not on his part)
Familial Tension / Conflict - Father vs. Son + Daughter + Son-in-law
Story-Telling Aspect - maybe the men tell stories while they walk into the coal-mines to pass the time.
"Little Lies" - something to do with family drama - maybe he expects his brother in law has had an affair, but keeps it quiet for the sake of his sister? maybe he lies about something to do with the labor riots to avoid his comrades getting arrested?

Archie

(Generation L) Archie/Leslie is based on my great-granduncle, and is the "character" closest to my heart. He was a handsome, promising young man in a family that loved him - as an eldest brother a lot of his parents' hopes rested on him. And then he was diagnoses with tuberculosis and sent to a sanitarium to live out his last days. Taking quite a bit of artistic liberty on Leslie's story, I would make this character into someone who turned to writing as a respite amidst the grief of dying. I think this would be a very interesting way to continue on the "story telling" theme from verbal stories to written stories. I like the idea of Leslie/Archie longing to return to the family farm and how that could be portrayed as a kind of "Garden of Eden".

Housefire - Might include a field fire or bonfire scene - and then maybe just the illness of tuberculosis being described in "fire" terms - because it is an illness of the lungs. In that case the "body" would be the "house" that is caught aflame.
Familial Tension / Conflict - Mother vs. Son
Story-Telling Aspect - Archie imagines being back home, and writes stories and letters home.
"Little Lies" (small idea - maybe his mom passed years ago, and so his "lie" is to himself as he writes letters to her - don't know if I want to be that morbid, but I think that's a possibility) I think Archie probably also tries to lie about his illness symptoms to try to get out of the sanitarium, but to no avail.

Warren (tentative name)

(Generation W) W has a strained relationship with his daughter, decides to become the "leader" if his daughter and son's 4H group - considering maybe having W be recently divorced or considering divorce with his wife. He tries to relate to the kids by telling them stories of his childhood and stories of their ancestors, they connect in some aspects but there is so much more to say. (I have a little idea that maybe he has an illness or secret he wants to reveal to his daughter, but doesn't know exactly how.) Then there's a scene at "the pond" where the daughter and her friends nearly drown. Don't want to spoil the rest of this part.

Housefire - campfire scene + water replaces fire as the "natural disaster" in this generation.
Familial Tension / Conflict - Father vs. Daughter
Story-telling - stories by the fire of witches and saints, paradise and hell, thieves and heroes, and how they're all just the same. stories of hope for the future.
"Little Lies" - Lies of omission about the "secret".
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return




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Tue Oct 24, 2023 7:59 pm
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alliyah says...



SIDE CHARACTER(S) - Villains


Write a few paragraphs about the motivations of your side characters. Why do they want certain things? What will getting/achieving those things mean to them? What fears do they have? What do these characters add to the overall story?


A re-ocurring character will be that of the "accuser" - I'm going to try to make the "villains" in each generation have some strong similarities. Will write a bit more on this later if I have a chance.

MOST CHALLENGING CHARACTER(S)


I have quite a bit of ideas for Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Rebecca, and Leslie/Archie - I think I will find a little bit more difficulty with James and potentially Rudy. They have both committed some pretty serious crimes in their life, and I want to hit the right balance of portraying them as immoral, but sympathetic. I have quite a few characters that I want to present as very very flawed, but in a sympathetic/charitable way.

One good thing I have going for me with writing these characters loosely (very loosely) based on some real people in my ancestry is that I have done a lot of research on them already and know a little bit about their time period and history etc. I do think I will probably need to do additional historical research on a few of these time periods and settings though in order to make them a little more true-to-life. James will be the most difficult, especially if I decide to include some real details about the labor riots / strikes that he may have been involved with. I am also tempted to make someone in James' generation a soldier, though that would be another area where I would have to do quite a bit of research in order to portray right. For the purposes of NaNo I may choose to just be "loosely" historical based on prior knowledge for now, and then do my due-diligence with research later. I also think it is a strong possibility that I don't even get past Adam's generation this month, but I mean, at least I can try right? And I think Adam's generation sets everything else in the novel up so if that was all I managed to attempt, even that would be a major accomplishment.
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return




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Carlito says...



YAY A POET JOINS THE NANO RANKS!!

I have no clue how to write a novel so I hesitate to get too ambitious. A chapter by the end of the month would be cool though!

I had no clue how to write poems but I still sort of did NaPo! You got this <3

a multigenerational look at a particular family (I would say my family, but it's also your family, and everyone's family) in how they struggle with an inheritance of "little lies" and try to discover the truths, and redeem the stumbles of the generation that came before.

how did Adam explain to his sons how he and Eve had been removed from of the Garden of Eden.

okay consider me INTRIGUED!!
I've never thought about how Adam would've explained that and it's SUCH a good question and such a cool launching off point!

I love that you have some inspo books already to help give you some ideas with form and structure and stuff. When I think multigenerational stories, I think of the show Jane the Virgin and the show This is Us. (I'll admit I haven't seen all of this is us but I know it's an example of the form). They both used kind of parallel timelines and storylines to tell the whole story (This is Us more so). I have a vague novel idea that would involve something like this but I haven't attempted it yet so I don't have any tips or advice on how to make something like that work - just another idea you could play with for form :)

It's also really cool to me that each generation is going to be in such a different setting and time period! More work and research for you, but I think it'll be such an effective way to capture your theme and what you're trying to do!

A few novel writing/plotting tips - take whatever's useful:
Spoiler! :

This is how I personally do it, but everyone does it a little differently.
You need three main elements to write a novel: 1. premise 2. characters 3. plot
You already have the first two. The premise was what you wrote in the elevator pitch. The characters are self-explanatory.

The plot comes from two main places - external and internal. The external plot is what we see the character doing. Harry Potter needs to stop Voldemort from getting the Sorcerer's Stone. You'll also see it referred to as the main character's goal. The goal needs to have external obstacles (Harry doesn't know where the stone is, how to get it, how Voldie is going to try to get it, he's trying to adjust to his new world and learn how to be a wizard, etc.) The main character needs to have agency, meaning they need to be an active participant in their plot. The plot can't be happening to them, they're making the plot happen.

The internal plot is arguably more important. Your main character has an internal flaw/misbelief/inner conflict that they need to wrestle with throughout the plot. I don't belong. I'm unlovable/not worthy of love. If I'm not in control that makes me weak. This misbelief is in conflict with their external goal. I have to stop Voldie, but I don't think I'm capable. That inner conflict is going to keep rearing it's ugly head until nearly the end of the book when the character has an "aha moment" and can move beyond their misbelief.

There are a billion plotting methodologies, but essentially a lot comes down to cause an effect. Your main character does something to get the plot started which causes the chain reaction that creates the novel. I can explain this best with love stories because that's what I write :)
Main character (MC) has a meet cute with the love interest (LI) at a coffee shop and gets his number. MC chooses to reach out to LI - that choice gets our novel going. If the MC never reached out to the LI after that meet cute, there's no book. It's just a cute chance meeting in a coffee shop. But because MC reached out to LI, she learns LI is a rockstar and he needs a muse to write his next album! How exciting! Now we can have a whole fun series of events that help them fall in love (with lots of obstacles and mess along the way).

This is a super simplified way of explaining my process. But if you want to get really down the rabbit hole of specific plot methodologies that work for me, let me know and I can give you some resources!! But my best piece of advice is to trust your premise and characters, have a good starting point, and see where your characters take you! That's honestly why I pants my way through drafts most of the time - I want to see where my characters take me and I truly don't know until I start writing. (I know the big moments but almost no fine details).

This also sounds like an ambitious project with lots of details and moving parts (which honestly just adds to the fun!) I think you've already done this, but give yourself grace that you're not going to nail it on the first try and it'll take some time to figure out exactly what story you're trying to tell and the best way to tell it. You don't have to share it with anyone until you're ready, and you can literally change everything in revisions if you need/want to (lol I almost always do!)

I truly love the craft of writing novels, so let me know if I can be of any help as you work on this!! (and feel free to ignore me if nothing I just said made any sense lol)
<3
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Wed Oct 25, 2023 8:33 pm
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alliyah says...



CONFLICT & PLOT


@Carlito wrote:The plot comes from two main places - external and internal. The external plot is what we see the character doing. (...) The internal plot is arguably more important. Your main character has an internal flaw/misbelief/inner conflict that they need to wrestle with throughout the plot.


Carlito that is helpful! For this project I think a unique aspect will be how do I make it feel like this is all one novel and not just 6 different stories I wanted to set beside each other. I have a few ideas on how to do this (mostly inspired by "Cloud Cuckoo Land" which does an incredible job with a multi-generational story!) like having shared pieces of imagery or phrases that show up in the different generations to create a more connected feeling. I do think that although the separate generations have some similar conflicts, I should attempt to have some "over-arching" "problem" that they are facing generation after generation too - some of this is kind of forming up in my mind already too. So I'm going to put some time into tentatively thinking that through too.

I am also pretty open to scrapping different aspects of my plan as things work / don't work - so thanks for your note on just having grace for how all the moving parts end up fitting together (or clashing etc.) :D

Spoiler! :


OVER-ARCHING FAMILY CONFLICT



External - Families dealing with "housefires" (conflict within families that are a combination of self-inflicted or chance). Families telling stories to their descendants.

Internal - What is true about who we are? The false-belief is that we are "destined" for only death and destruction as it is our inherited fatal flaw from Adam.

Generation A Conflict



External - [still deciding the span of time I want this story to go] But main conflict is that Adam has lied to his children and has to deal with the consequences of that.

Internal - will think more on this.


Generation S Conflict



External - main character has been accused of something they haven't done - facing a trial and potential execution

Internal - will think more on this.


Generation E Conflict



External - will think more on this.

Internal - false-belief; we are only what we do.


Generation M Conflict



External - Poverty, Family Drama, Lack of Opportunity,

Internal - will think more on this.


Generation L Conflict



External - Battling Serious Illness. Distance from Family.

Internal - Making sense of death, maintaining sense of connectedness despite being physically far and temporary.


Generation W Conflict



External - [don't want to spoil Generation W too much just in case I do post on YWS in like 14 years]

Internal - will think more on this.

you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return




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Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:56 pm
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alliyah says...



VIBES


Post the vibes of your project! This could mean playlists, moodboards, sketches, aesthetic food arrangements, anything. Feel free to add a couple sentences explaining why what you post fits the vibes!


Going to post the little collage I made ~later~. I sort of want each generation to feel like it's own distinct vibe and yet there needs to be continuity between them all. I also want to intersperse a few "images" / themes that come up in many of the generations - here's what I have for that so far.

COLLAGE
Image

Consistent Mood

All of the MC's seem to have a strong sense of duty though what they do with that is expressed in different ways - they're also very determined. Though I think I will have a lot of Christian / Religious themes in this, I want either Archie or James to maybe not be very traditionally religious or have a complicated / antagonistic relationship with some of the more formal religion they've experienced. Don't want the story to ultimately come across as "anti-church" in anyway, so I think by Leslie/Archie's generation, maybe I'll throw a kind chaplain into the mix to redeem things a bit.

Every generation is weighed down by the stories of the past - and yet the past is part of what gives them the strength to do what they need for the future.

I am also realizing that what I wrote may not feel very much like a "vibe" or "mood" - so some more general moods - brooding, ponderous, deep contrasts of dark and light, earthy, fairy-tale (but dark; like when Rapunzel's dad steals the cabbage...) I want some of the vibes to feel vaguely scriptural / parable-like and... that's what I got! I think it's a little hard to think of "mood" words / and probably easier to just kind of go for it in the actual writing? we'll see!

Distinct Mood / Setting / Feeling for Generations
Spoiler! :

Adam's pov is anxious, wise, devout, strong sense of duty. I want this setting to feel sort of like a parable / slightly magical and unrealistic.

Rebecca/Sarah is very devout - and despite circumstances not fearful. Her story centers around an impending trial - but I want the first part of her story to feel more like "grandma's kitchen" warm and lovey. Which will be a nice contrast from Adam and James.

James & Rudy/Hardy will feel a lot more "gritty" and potentially very similar - though Rudy/Hardy is more "hardened" and resolute, and James is more of a "dreamer" / optimistic and not very practical.

Leslie/Archie - is a little bitter, more "cleaned up" than Archie and James in language, appearance, vibe etc.

W - still a little indecisive on W, I think he may be a lot more anxious like Adam. Might want to create some strong parallels with him maybe in having a matching "campfire scene" between Adam and his sons, and W and his son and daughter. May even give W's daughter a name similar to Cain ... though what would it be? to highlight those parallels a bit more.

REPEATING IMAGERY / MOTIFS

Spoiler! :

"Home"

Fire

The sun

Darkness / Night

The forbidden fruit (maybe even a recurring apple! - if each generation had some reference to an apple I think that would be kind of cool)

Dust to Dust to Dust // just a lot of in depth descriptions of dirt / soil! do you know the long boring part in "The Grapes of Wrath" where it's just describing the land, and you skip over that to get to the story - yeah, I actually want that vibe a little bit! I want the reader to think "why is the author spending like a whole paragraph describing the coal dust tracked in by James' shoes, why is the soil personified by Leslie, why is there so much attention given to the dust under Adam's nails... :)

Family Story

The story of creation and story of the fall

Divine Justice vs. Grace

Heroes

Theft

Farming / Fields

Preachers & False Preachers
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return




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Thu Oct 26, 2023 3:56 pm
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alliyah says...



RESEARCH TO-DO LIST


I'm a little bit concerned with how "historically accurate" I need to be for my novel ideas since some of the circumstances of the story are based off of real events. I have spent like years worth of research on ancestry, so am not completely uninformed about these different time periods - but I do need to dig into a few things a little more eventually. I think realistically >.> looks at calendar which says there are only 5 days until November <.< I probably won't be able to do sufficient research before NaNo so might have to just "do my best" and then do better research later but here's a list of kind of priorities of research that I probably need to get into a little more.

Generation A
While I would consider myself well-versed on the Christian interpretation of Genesis as I have taken many undergraduate and graduate courses on Biblical Interpretation, Hebrew, Theology etc. I think it could provide some interesting insight to do a little more research on the non-canonical accounts of Creation and Adam and Eve as well as read a little bit into the Quran's interpretation of the events - just to have a bit of a broader understanding.

Some sources I need to maybe read would be "The Testament of Adam" (2nd to 5th centuries AD) and maybe check out and Adam / Eve references in the Book of Enoch.

Generation S
So my initial idea is to base this generation's story on my ancestor from the Salem witch trials, but I am tempted to change the setting to 1600s Europe where they were also having witch trials, so that it can be a bit more fictionalized / flexible. I have done a lot of research on the Salem witch trials - but I could do quite a bit more on Europe's witch trials and check out if maybe there were anymore in North America.

Generation E
Basing this generation on a specific book I've read about our family that was written in 1890 - but I would like to do a little more information about crime / insurance fraud in the 1800s.

Generation M
This is the generation I need most research about - I really do not know very much about the technical aspects of coal-mining during this time-period, so I need to find like a book or article or something to have a better picture of what this might have looked like. I have read a few books on rail road labor strikes, but if I can find something like an article or something about the coal-miners strikes that would also be helpful to give a little more insight. Would love to find like an autobiography of a coal miner or something.

Generation L
I feel like I have a pretty sufficient knowledge of TB sanitariums - and have watched a few documentaries on them as well. I would actually like to know a little bit more about the medical side, and it could be beneficial to maybe make a clearly fictional sanitarium for my novel so people don't think I am describing the exact practices of a particular one that existed.

Generation W
Probably don't need additional research for this one. Maybe some first-hand accounts of what it feels like to drown.
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Thu Oct 26, 2023 4:10 pm
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alliyah says...



PLOTTING & STRUCTURE


So I think it might be helpful to write kind of an order of potential scenes in case I get stuck? One big QUESTION I have is if I should tell these stories broken up or more like a "collection of short stories" ie. do I tell a few scenes from James' story, then skip over to Adam, then over to Rebecca or ... just tell all of Rudy, all of James, all of Archie etc. I also don't know what way makes most sense to write it. Right now I am thinking that Adam's story is interlaced through all of the other stories like Adam 1, Rebecca, Adam 2, Rudy, Adam 3, James, etc. but I am tempted to mix-match stuff even more. I am just not sure at all quite yet - maybe I'll have to play with it after / while writing it.

SCENES TO WRITE

> Filling this in later <
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Mon Oct 30, 2023 2:37 am
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Carlito says...



On research: I've always heard the advice with historical or other genres that require a lot of research that it's good to research the "big" stuff before you really get started. Things that are going to impact the actual plot. Like if your book takes place during WWII, you should go into writing knowing major dates, events, players, etc. As you're writing, if you run into things that need to be researched further or that you need to add in later so you don't get bogged down with research as you're writing, [brackets are your best friend]. I don't write historical, but my first drafts are LITTERED with [Name], [describe this], [something here], [fact about x].

On format and potential scenes: another idea for form! You could have one generation be the "main" generation. Maybe it's the most current generation. They're going through something in present day that connects back to all the previous generations and as the reader watches the present day struggle, we go back and see the same themes and common ties from the previous generations? I agree with you that I think it'll be easier to figure out once you've written some of it and see how different things feel as you pull everything together :)
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Wed Nov 01, 2023 4:47 pm
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alliyah says...



Thanks again Carlito! I think that I can get away with not doing very much additional research before beginning writing a few of these groups; though I want to be very cautious how I portray both the generation inspired by the Salem "witch" trials, and then the generation that participates in the WV Coal Wars, just because I think both of those are stories that have been historically misrepresented in really dangerous ways. The more I research that I do about the coal wars, the more I think they may have some compelling similarities to the Salem witch trials - and to the ideas people had around disease during the Tuberculosis crisis in the US. We'll see how everything falls though! :)

I think as far as writing I'm just going to write the aspects that I have more "thought" out and then worry about structure more when I have some actual bits of writing done; so at least I have somewhere to start.


~~~

CHARACTER PLAYLIST



Generation A
"We Plough the Fields and Scatter" - (hymn)
"Looking for a Savior" - United Pursuit
"On the Nature of Daylight" - Max Richter

Generation S
"Eight" - Sleeping At Last (Enneagram Type)
"Time" - Hans Zimmer
"Fire Burns Inside Me" - Andrea Vanzo
"Mother's Journey" - Yann Tiersen
"God Helps the Outcasts" - (from Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Generation E
"Coat of Armour" - George Ezra
"Solid Ground" - Vance Joy

Generation M
"Loading Coal" - Johnny Cash
"Coal Miner's Daughter" - Loretta Lynn
"Coal" - Dylan Gosset
"Six" - Sleeping At Last (Enneagram Type)
"Walk" - Ludovico Einaudi

Generation L
"Only A Lifetime" - FINNEAS
"North" - Sleeping At Last
"Light" - Sleeping At Last
"Follow the Sun" - Xavier Rudd

Generation W
"Carry You" - Novo Amor
"Fire and Flood" - Vance Joy

The Whole Cast/Book
"Dreaming to Fly" - Andrea Vanzo
you should know i am a time traveler &
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Wed Nov 01, 2023 4:48 pm
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alliyah says...



NaNo Art



RANDOM DOODLES / CHARACTER ART / ETC.

Spoiler! :

Image

Image

Image

Image

you should know i am a time traveler &
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Wed Nov 01, 2023 5:55 pm
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alliyah says...



November 1



Daily Word Count: 616
Total Word Count: 616

Today's Notes: Worked a little on a potential opening scene for Generation W today with an echoing scene for Generation A.

Snippet of the Day:
At the end of each story-time he would make two promises; Tomorrow, a new story would be told. And that he would love and protect her until the sun burnt out, and the flood waters came, and the ground turned inside out, and until the final breath was gone from his lungs. It was something he remembered his grandfather saying whenever they would visit – and though he hated words for sentimentality-sake, he believed each word he promised to Everly. He would do everything he could do to keep his promises to her. He was sure of it.
you should know i am a time traveler &
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but i have promised to return




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Fri Nov 03, 2023 1:45 pm
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Snoink says...



He would do everything he could do to keep his promises to her. He was sure of it.


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