My Story is Finished, but It’s Only 31,810 Words …

Dear readers,
How have you been? I hope that you are still doing fine.

Here is the synopsis for my Camp NaNoWriMo April 2014 novel. The current working title is “From the Human Chain” and it’s in the Thriller/Suspense genre.

It was the final day of summer break in Mount Shepard, a mountain that was known for its tall trees. It was also the final day of vacation for Abe, Joel, Mark, Keanu, Sean, Bennie and Myrtle.They were a group of tourists.

Abe was recently divorced by his wife, who had been blaming him for the death of their son. He was an obese man who loved eating and he wasn’t the traveler type, but he went to the mountain in an attempt to get away from everything and bring his life back into focus.

Joel was the older brother of Myrtle. They used to be orphans, but Joel had grown up and became Myrtle’s surrogate father.

Mark was an adventurer who loved summer and all things concerning adventure. This one summer was bad, though, since his older sister made him look after his nephew, Bennie.

Keanu was unemployed. He had just quit his job in law-enforcement after his assignment failed and he had decided to climb the mountain in order to figure out what he really wanted to do in life.

Sean was a businessman. That was all that he said about himself.

Their tour guide, Shaun, invited them to a picnic on the huge branch of a giant tree. Both the beauty and the thrill about it was attractive. They had a breath-taking view of the lake below the mountain as they were suspended in the air meters from the ground. A place where they can take pictures for priceless memories of a beautiful summer. A place that was not what it looked like.

Suddenly, the branch broke off and all of them fell, clinging to each other. Abe caught another branch on their way to the ground and held on to it as Joel held on to him, Mark held on to Joel, and so on with Keanu, Shaun, Sean, Bennie and Myrtle.

Some of them had to go in order for Abe to save himself, or else all of them would fall to their death. Shaun had to decide fast who would go and who would stay. What do people do in the face of death? Their real personalities come out, the ones that they had been hiding and denying. Some will accept their fate. Some will sacrifice their luck for others. And some will do drastic things to stay alive.

I always prepare a novel outline before writing a novel. I made my novel outline for NaNoWriMo 2013 very long because 50,000 looked very big to me back then, but the novel ended up going beyond 50,000 words. To avoid that from happening again, I made my novel outline for Camp NaNoWriMo April 2014 very short. As it turns out, the novel ended in only 31,810 words. I finished writing “From the Human Chain” on April 25.

I checked the NaNoWriMo forums to see what to do when your novel ends in less words than the goal, and the other novelists advised that you should go back to the beginning of the novel and fill gaps in the plot, add back stories and add plot twists until you reach 50,000 words. Other novelists advised writing separate stories for each character just to give yourself a chance to reconsider certain parts of the novel and adding those stories to the manuscript to reach 50,000 words. I chose to do the latter.

Since finishing the main novel, I have been writing about my protagonist’s past, his family, how his father met his mother and the ups and downs in his parents’ love relationship before my protagonist came around (things that are never mentioned in the main novel). I also plan to write about my villain’s past, his father’s career, his love life, etc. I will not include these back stories when I publish the novel, but I’m thinking of creating a prequel, or a sequel, that features these parts in the characters’ lives.

Thank you for reading. Have a nice day and happy writing.


Photo credit: me.


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