2019 NaNoWriMo Prep

I will be participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year and started the process of prepping a horror/supernatural thriller. I think it will be fun to add an update each week, sharing my thoughts on plot, characters, and my slow descent into madness writing process.

Here’s a brief synopsis:

“The old Dome theater in downtown Sun Valley reopens after decades of abandonment. However, as the theater resumes operation, management, guests, and staff experience strange, supernatural events that reignites stories of unsolved murders and hauntings. Four strangers investigate the theater and discover a horrifying evil infesting the old movie theater. These strangers must work together to stop this evil before it grows too strong and spreads into the world of the living.”

This idea started back in 2007 when I was working my first job at a movie theater. I was reading a lot of Stephen King and Lovecraft at the time and was inspired by The Shinning and The Dunwich Horror. I wanted to write my own epic ghost story set in a haunted movie theater, but I was 18 and didn’t know anything about how to write a novel. Now that I’m older and have more writing experience, I figured now’s the time to finally write this thing.

Currently using Scrivener to track and take notes on the major characters (4-5 as of now) and plot out each chapter. 15 out of 30 chapters plotted so far. Hoping to write 2,500-3,000 words per chapter. My goal is to have 50k-90k words written by the end of November.

More to come next week.

What I’m Reading: September, 2019

I’m slowly catching up to my goal of reading at least 30 books this year. I’m five books behind schedule so I’ll be making more time to read and post quick reviews here. If you like reading my reviews, then feel free to connect with me on Goodreads.

I finally finished Crossfire, the first book of Matthew Farrer’s Shira Calpurnia trilogy and already posted a short review on Goodreads. It was as I expected, which was an action-packed political thriller set in the grim-dark universe of the Warhammer 40k universe. Pretty fun if you’re already familiar with the lore, but if you’re not then you might get lost on all of the references and heavy world-building. Currently working on Legacy, which is the second book in the trilogy. Not too bad so far, but heavier with political intrigue. It’s a shorter book, though, so I predict I’ll finish it within a week or two.

I like to think of myself as a teacher who’s taking an extended vacation, so any books that tell stories about teachers or the teaching profession interest me. Schooled by Anisha Lakhani is a book about a young and naive teacher who quickly discovers teaching is a lot harder than she thought it would be. Overwhelmed by the stress, anxiety, and poor pay, she starts writing essays for the students of wealthy families in other neighborhoods. The premise caught my interest because of the recent SAT grading scandals and I was hoping for a gripping drama that explores the pitfalls of teaching and how the super rich take advantage of the system. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with Lakhani’s juvenile writing, which is filled with so many cliches and tropes that it felt like a bland Lifetime special. Although the beginning has a strong hook, the rest of the book fell apart and I had to label it as a DNF (did not finish). Lakhani had a great idea, but the execution was poor. I believe her book would have been better if she veered away from the lazy tropes and cliches and focused on making the main character more likable.