Day 1 For the NaNo Newbie & the (Abbreviated) 15-Day Challenge

Almost one week later, I’m getting in gear.

I’ve learned it’s possible to work on more than one project in NaNo (though it would make me a REBEL). While considering this option, I’m still planning to move ahead with Plan A: Starting my next project.

Because of my time constraint, I’ve got Days 1 & 2 included here. Day 1: Synopsis. Day 2: Inspiration.

Read, enjoy, comment if you’re so inclined. But thanks for stopping by!

Working Title: “Shoot Straight”

International war decimated the world population. In the decades that followed, survivors were isolated in small groups and abandoned by their fractured government. They ultimately developed small towns and infrastructures but avoided any outsiders.

A charismatic leader, Addanc, rose to power in one section of the country, and grew in popularity even outside of his region. The masses were wooed with his words and promises of returning their country to greatness. Desperate for leadership and charmed by their new commander-in-chief, residents of the newly formed UC approved sweeping changes. By the time they understood what those changes meant, the new government had infiltrated their lives and taken control.

“Head west,” were the last instructions to Mackenzie before her father shut her in darkness. He had often spoken of sending she and her younger brother west, away from the encroaching government rule Her great-grandfather had built a cabin in the woods of Appalachia, outside of a city once known as Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It had been passed down and maintained by the generations that followed in accordance with the patriarch’s wishes, but with the hopes it would never be needed.

Built to withstand the blast of a dynamite and nature’s best, Mac had been told by an uncle there was even a fallout shelter and bunker built beneath the main living quarters. Nobody had intended to use it as more than a family gathering place…until now.

In a raid orchestrated by one of Addanc’s militia’s, Mac’s brother was abducted and her father mortally wounded. She escaped only because her father shoved her into a hidden floor compartment. Hours after the last footstep was heard above, she slipped out and into the nearby woods, taking only a pack and her rifle. Mackenzie aimed to heed her father’s instruction. First, she had to find her brother.

Along her travels, Mac encounters two teens, brothers who, like her, lost their parents in raids conducted to eliminate resistors. She allows them to join her on her journey and pursues the most likely location of her brother: One of the hundreds of Developmental Centers. At last she finds him, at a near the former Appalachian Trail. He refuses to leave with her and sounds the alarm.

She races to escape from the DC guards when she encounters Bea, a young girl who lived her entire life in the center. Unknown to either of them, Bea is the daughter of Addanc. She is the key to the next phase of his plan, and to his undoing.

Day 2: Inspiration

Sorry to say it, only because it now feels cliche, but The Hunger Games is a strong inspiration for this story and Mac. I say that meaning I have created her as a strong young woman who has to take on far more than most young women her age….now or in her age of living.

Other inspirations include my brothers, writing prompts that were provided by Laura Feasey and her Literary Lion (which I miss terribly and hope to return writing for soon), my home in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and many of our present world leaders and events.

The original inspiration for the story came from the prompt for a 24-hour contest called One Throne Joust and the usual spit-ball session with my best friend and biggest supporter, my husband. I hope to make him proud with this story…especially because this is one he really wants to read.


Where are you in your NaNo prep? Have you ever worked on multiple projects during NaNo? Any tips?

Happy trails!

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