Well, it’s NaNoWriMo time again, and this year I promised that before I started to write a new novel, I would type myself a basic note or description of what the novel was going to be about. My hope was that it would help me find focus during the writing process, and after I write a novel, I have a terrible time summarizing it. This would definitely need some tweaking before it could be used for anything other than a description of my novel on the NaNo website, but so far it’s doing its job. I’m using it to find focus as I write what is turning out to be quite a dark and twisty novel. Sometimes I have to stop writing just to take a deep breath and regroup, because this one is weighing heavily on me.
Seventeen-year-old Etta lives to log on. She’s so deeply entrenched in the world of social media that she has no time for the so called “real world.” It’s all fine by her, since in her real world, she’s only ever been a victim or completely invisible, and it’s hard to tell which is worse.
Beat down, put down, hated, and ignored, Etta craves the positive attention of her online friends. With a constantly absent and traveling father, an always working mother, and an older sister who can barely stand the sight of Etta, life at home is barely more tolerable than at school, where she’s bullied by students, ignored and hated by teachers, and way too visible for comfort. However, when logged on to her InvisiblEtta profile, Etta can be anyone or anything she wants to be. Nobody can hurt her, nobody hates her, and anyone who tries can be quickly blocked. She thrives inside the anonymity, until she posts a Tweet that goes viral, and her whole world changes.
InvisiblEtta becomes highly visible, resulting in an invitation to appear on her favorite talk show. She quickly declines, in order to maintain her invisibility, but the absolutely gorgeous IncurableFanboy takes notice of the exchange, blatantly flirting and drawing her into his dark, fast-paced, and exciting world. Etta’s daily life quickly begins to revolve around her new online boyfriend, until her older sister finds out and freaks out. When Etta refuses to believe that IncurableFanboy would lie to her about anything, her doubtful older sister reaches out to the talk show host for help. The show digs into Etta’s life and online profiles, trying to convince her to appear, in order to face the truths about who IncurableFanboy really is. After much pressure from her sister and mother, Etta agrees, hanging onto her belief that IncurableFanboy is the boy of her dreams and suddenly worried if she could ever be the girl of his. Unfortunately, IncurableFanboy’s real identity is the least of her concerns, because what the show unexpectedly reveals about Etta and her online profiles leaves her counselor in shock, her family in denial, her community reeling, and the whole world gasping. When faced with her own ugly truths, she’s left with only two choices: stand up and bare her soul to the world or cut and run.
Also, check out this fun NaNo website cover that was designed for me by a NaNo artisan: