Disclaimer: The picture I used to make the cover with is not mine. I find all pictures by searching on Google or Tumblr (or whichever site I am directed to.)
I’m very proud to have two finished first drafts and an almost finished one from my two NaNoWriMos. Granted, the ones from last year are nowhere near perfect and it’s going to take me a long time to edit them into something worth reading. But seeing as they were the first novels I’d ever finished in my whole writing life, they’re like my babies 🙂
Finding True Love is Baby #1. I chose it because it was a high school romance and relatively easy, plus I figured I should get the teenage stories written before I forget what being a teenager was like and made my characters sound like old people hiding in the bodies of high school kids.
I have a story chart of all my stories, including names and ages of the main characters and a short sentence or two about what it’s about. Here’s the basic plot for Finding True Love:
Lola participates in a school exchange program to get away from her controlling parents but gains much more than just temporary freedom; Alex is surprised to find himself falling in love with a girl who is not his girlfriend and who believes in everything he doesn’t.
I’d first intended the basic plot to be about Lola being a foreign exchange student. It’s loosely inspired by my own experience as a foreign exchange student (except I didn’t have a cute baby host sister or a good-looking host brother around my age, haha!) But while doing NaNoPrep, writing my outline and all that, I realized that things could get very difficult with my initial idea. There’d be some sort of cultural difference, not to mention a long-distance relationship, just to mention a few. So, whether it makes sense or is even possible or not, I decided to have Lola’s and Alex’ schools to have a partnership thing, that would allow this story to happen. A very deliberate artistic license, I guess?
All in all, I had quite a lot of fun writing this story, although quite a few parts ended up being much different than I’d intended. Lola, for example, was not supposed to write diary entries, and Alex was supposed to be really obnoxious and annoying (at least to Lola) at first. But as characters often do, they had their own ideas and were very insistent.
There is a lot I have to work on here, especially with the characters. Alex and Lola feel very flat to me, and the secondary characters don’t really have much presence, except when I found them convenient. I have yet to actually read through my NaNoWriMo 2014 stories again, so I haven’t even begun thinking about the editing process. I’m actually not even sure if it’s necessary, because while I am immensely proud of this story, I don’t know if it’s something I’d want the world to read. I feel that even if I were to flesh out the characters, fill the plot holes and everything, the story still lacks substance. It’s basically just a fluff piece that I wrote as practice, and I guess I’m not passionate enough about it to want to spend the time editing and revising (sorry, Alex and Lola.)
After all, if I don’t believe in my story, how can I expect others to?