Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sustainable Saturday - A Fictional Future Grows in Brooklyn?

Can I write a novel about a future sustainable Brooklyn forced into a sustainable lifestyle by climate change by a girl growing up in that future?

I am participating in a writing self-challenge called NaNoWriMo, which requires its participants to write 50,000 original words (a rough draft, no editing) during the month of November.  Just writing anything fictional is a challenge for me - 50,000 words in 30 days is a huge challenge, especially when I've already encountered writer's block on days six and seven.

For my NaNoWriMo novel, I decided to write a young adult novel called Gravesend, named after a neighborhood in Brooklyn I have a little familiarity with.  Set approximately 40 years in the future, I intended it to be a dystopian novel - my favorite form of young adult literature. 

But a funny thing happened on the way to the novel.
Not the fictional Gravesend

My protagonist has taken charge (yes, this is the kind of thing that happens when you write fiction) and has started to write it herself.  And, therein lies the problem. 

She isn't living in a dystopian Gravesend.  And she isn't the character I expected her to be.


Oh, it isn't a fun Gravesend to grow up in, it faces some big problems, and my girl, whose name is Alex (short for Alexandria), has seen her share of weather related tragedy.  In fact, she's an orphan due to a superstorm, and those storms have become more and more frequent.  But I am starting to get lost in her daily life.  And you know what?

Inspired by an article I read the other day on people attempting to grow rice on an island off the coast of Manhattan, I actually am writing about a future Gravesend full of conflict, but also full of hope.  And farming.

I'm really curious to see where Alex is taking my novel, now that she's taken over.

I'm still behind where I should be, but let's see if I can catch up. Watch my progress on my right sidebar.  And, if you are participating in NaNoWriMo, come be my buddy - you will find me at RamblinWritr.


  1. Wow, coming from Manhattan, I find your novel highly interesting. What a great theme. I love what I reading. Good luck with the challenge.
    Dorit Sasson
    author of the memoir, Accidental Soldier: What My Service in the Israel Defense Forces Taught Me about Faith, Courage, and Love

  2. I'm sure you'll both enjoy your adventure into the future. She sounds like a helpful protagonist.
    just stopping by from Nablopomo ( I am a newbie blogger)

  3. Wow that's a huge challenge for a writer. Hoping to see more that posts.

  4. I am so excited for you! I am a former YA librarian and love reading all YA, especially dystopian lately. I hope to someday write a novel, about what I am not sure. Need the idea to come to me yet.

    Visiting from NaBloPoMo!

  5. Wow! You're brave to write for this challenge! ;) And a dystopian novel sounds intriguing. Good luck and have fun! :) <3

  6. sounds like a delightful read! Best of luck to you on your NaNoWriMo challenge!

  7. Good for you and it sounds like you're having fun! I actually signed up for the non-fiction version, called NaNonFiWriMo. And so far, I haven't found time to work on my story!


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