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NaNoWriMo- “Paper Houses” Outline


Welcome dear readers! We are now a few days into November and so we present the first piece from highlighted author Evelyn Lee and her NaNoWriMo story, “Paper Houses.”

To learn more about Evelyn, read her interview here.

To learn more about NaNoWriMo simply click the link.

Evelyn was featured over at Story of the Month earlier this year with a piece from this story. She will be fleshing it out through NaNoWriMo. What we present to you is a little background on her lovely story.


By Evelyn Lee

1. The struggle of today’s youth, particularly in the Singapore context: between dreams & reality, hopes & responsibilities, love & family

2. Love, like happiness, is not found or some place to arrive at, but something built slowly through shared struggle & hardship – BOLD STRUGGLE = shared struggle

3. To demystify depression: personify it as a ghost of the past

Meaning of Paper Houses

1. Empty house & photographs on the wall

Upon returning home from Europe, Marina realizes that her house, just like Singapore, the place where she had always lived before going abroad, is devoid of warmth and any meaning for her. An empty house. She tears down the postcards and posters on her wall, which once held her romanticized dreams about Europe. Then she replaces the empty wall with the postcards and photos she brought back with her from Europe. Only later does she realize that there is something dark and sad about the photos amidst its renowned beauty. A few blank pages after the first installment, skipping to the part after she graduates and starts her first job as a copywriter at a top graphic design studio in Singapore – no voice, client’s mouthpiece, unreasonable creative director. Friends all think she leads a glamorous and artsy life, but she feels empty and lost inside. Her life is like a paper house she fills up with words and illustrations.

2. Europe and her past – a row of beautiful cardboard houses

In the lonely and lost moments that no one sees, only her best friend Owen understands. Although he is already in a relationship with someone else, his old feelings for her are rekindled as he cares for her. She hates herself for needing him, and tries to stop her own deepening feelings. – long story – eventually they are together after emerging from their own relationships, battered and bruised. After some time together with Owen, Marina finds her old fears and anxieties arising, although he gives her no reason to, and she with his help she realizes that she has been numbing herself and blocking out the painful past. One day, she recounts her whole journey in Europe and with Ethan to Owen, and he tells her that Europe is like a ghost, a nightmare. A row of houses that is colourful, straight and perfect, and she wishes to go near it as she looks at it from afar. But upon reaching it, she realizes that the houses are made of cardboard, and there is nothing behind and no one inside. (empty houses) That night, he goes home with her and helps her take down the photos. – comment about ugly blu-tack, plasters, wounds and scars.

We hope you enjoyed this little teaser- this only a portion of her great outline! We look forward to sharing her vivid and emotional writing with you as NaNoWriMo progresses! You can find Evelyn on her Tumblr page, and we will be sharing her work with the hashtags #InspireWritersEvelyn and #NaNoWriMoRRP.

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