Day 1—-2,148 words
I decided for NaNoWrimo to write an epistolary novel (diaries, letters) because I have always loved the form. I still love John Marsden’s Letters from the Inside and So Much to Tell You to this day. Cecelia Ahern’s Where Rainbows End is one of my favourite books. I wrote a mini-thesis on James Patterson’s Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas and Sam’s Letters to Jennifer, arguing that his use and combination of the epistolary form, style indirect libre and narrative desire, lead to the creation of a new type of epistolary novel.
I feel that an epistolary novel is only successful if there is a reason within the story for the need of the epistolary form. In So Much to Tell You, Marina chooses or is too traumatised to speak, her diary is her voice. In Letters from the Inside, Tracey and Mandy are pen pals who never meet. In Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, Suzanne wrote the diary as a gift for her son Nicholas, however the diary is used to tell her story because it is revealed at the end of the novel that she has died. In Sam’s Letters to Jennifer, Sam writes letter to tell Jennifer about falling in love with another man, however her letters are used to tell her story because she has fallen into a coma at the beginning of the novel. However, Where Rainbows End doesn’t specify a reason within the story as to why the epistolary form was used, but Ahern pulls it off without a reason, because she varies the different ways that she utilises the epistolary form (letters, notes, birthday cards, wedding invitations, text messages, instant messaging, emails, etc).
My novel idea is Letters to a Future Me. It’s basically about four friends: Emma, Charlotte, Michaela and Brooke, who are given an assessment in school to write a letter to themselves to be read in five years. Emma, the main protagonist, keeps writing letters to herself every five years, and she keeps in constant contact with her friends in epistolary form. The idea came from a simple concept from the movie, The Incredibles, of what people think life is going to be versus what it actually becomes. It’s not my best idea and I have to admit it’s forced, because I didn’t really prepare myself, due to the fact that I don’t have much free time, because I work full-time and have a lengthy commute to and from work everyday.
Today I managed to write the prologue and epilogue and I was quite proud of myself for managing to write this many words. I’m aiming for 1,667 words each day so I can meet the minimum word limit of 50,000 within the month. The rest of the novel I’m yet to figure out.