NaNoWriMo takes priority. Two years ago I wrote a romance novel that has some good stuff in it; I still need to tie up some loose ends in the plot and also do a thorough editing for weak writing and errors, but at some point I still hope to shop it around. This year I started working on the plot for NaNoWriMo 2010 in mid-September but couldn’t easily come up with anything satisfying. Toward the end, after much soul-searching and research, I ended up with a tragedy. There is a family secret in the second generation that is due to repeat itself in the third generation, unless perhaps the secret is revealed.
But in order to nail down the characters, and how the third generation evolves from the second, I feel that I have to begin writing historically, beginning with a story from the first generation. Eventually the story should read starting with the young days of the third generation, and later on the mystery from the second generation should begin as a side story brought forward from the past, and then the tale of the first generation and the early second generation brought forward as well, all as flashbacks interrupting the story of the third generation. But as I said, I feel that in order to write the story I have to begin at the beginning of time and trace the story forward. I have to define the grandmother to myself, so that I can understand how the fathers develop, so that I can understand the secret of the tragedy, so that I can write the story of the grand-daughters. Then when I mix this all up and bring the stories forward as flashbacks, the pieces will all fit together for the reader.
Wish me luck.