I’m starting a new weekly series of posts to increase the focus of this blog on writing. Every Wednesday, I’ll talk about thoughts about the craft, share tips, my own WIPs, etc. For my first entry, here are some basics as to my current project! I’m still keeping things hush-hush, out of magical thinking as much as paranoia, but some introductory facts:
WORKING TITLE: The Millennials Trilogy #1: Identity Crisis
Genre: upper-MG, superheroes (!)
(Very vague) premise: Superheroes and villains alike are threatened by a cataclysmic event that rocks the entire culture of costumed crooks and crimefighters.
Characters: there are a ton, so many that I will probably have to cut some (though they’re not all introduced or even mentioned in Identity Crisis, my “Millennials Mythos” world-building bible lists 64 superheroes and at least a dozen villains for my universe’s larger canon). I originally had a core group of 11 main superheroes for this first book, but the real focus of the book and series, though, are a pair of highly intelligent brothers from the Upper East Side: 12-year-old Mike, the smart-ass, Internet-savvy narrator, and 17-year-old Arnold, an eccentric genius who is secretly a teen hero. Here are their inspiration pics from my Pinterest board. I picture Mike as a young Jordan Fry (Mike Teavee in the 2005 version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, who was also an inspiration for the character) and Arnold as a younger (and probably less attractive) James McAvoy:
Stats: the first draft, which I wrote in about two non-continuous months (two weeks in November 2014 for a failed NaNoWriMo, the month of April 2015 for a successful but incomplete Camp Nano, and a few more weeks to wrap it up in June), is 68,955 words long. The second draft, which I started in September and finished last week, has 72,261 words but deleted a whole chapter and character, so the number of words added is higher.
Other info: the Internet plays a big role in the series, with Mike frequenting websites, blogs, and social media to stay updated on the latest superhero news. The book is semi-epistolary with plenty of online documents incorporated into the text.
Excerpt: since I’m preparing for heavy revision, a lot of the novel as it currently is could well end up on the chopping block. Here’s a quote that will almost certainly get cut due to its questionable appropriateness for middle grade, but which gives a pretty good idea of the tone and style. It’s a line of dialogue from Mike and Arnold’s mother, Professor Diane Weinstein:
“I don’t support superheroes in my news. It’s one thing to put on a latex costume and smack people around in the privacy of one’s own home, but to do so in public is another matter entirely.”
I’ll hopefully be able to share more about this book someday, if it lands an agent and a publisher and I achieve my dream of converting this humble virtual diary into my professional author blog. If.
That’s my current WIP. Any writers out there willing to talk about their own personal projects? Let me know!