It’s the end of week 1 (sort of) of NaNoWriMo, so I thought I’d do a little bit of a check-in.
By the end of today, I need to have 13,333 words written.
I currently have 19,840 words written. Before I do anything for today.
Yeah, I’m just a little bit ahead of the game.
The problem for me is that I type so quickly that writing 1,666 words a day isn’t actually a challenge anymore. It used to be when I first started doing NaNo, around 9 years or so ago, but even then, the hardest part about the challenge was making myself write every day without losing motivation, not taking the time out of my day to write words. The daily NaNo goal takes me a whole 20 minutes to accomplish if I write continuously, uninterrupted. Even if I hadn’t lucked out and was unable to write at work the way I do now, 50k still wouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
The year that Skyrim came out, I finished 50k words in less than half a month, so I could call myself done by the game’s release date.
100k? Now that’s a challenge! That could give me a run for my money, since it allows for no breaks, no slacking, and would actually push me harder to see what I can do.
I’m not aiming for 100k this year, though. Maybe next year. This year, I’ll just see how far I can go. Most days at work, I can write around 3000 words, which is pretty good, and I’m happy with that.
The story? Here’s the idea behind what I’m writing. It’s near-future urban fantasy, not quite post-apocalyptic but definitely after a good chunk of society has fallen. Post-social-apocalyptic? Is that a thing?
Anyway, at some point pre-novel, the earth opened its mouth and sang. The Song activated latent powers in humanity, essentially giving some people psychic abilities, magic, the ability to warp the fabric of reality as we know it now. Stuff that shouldn’t be, now is. people who were touched with these gifts called themselves the Blessed.
But because humanity is what it is, not everyone’s happy with these so-called gifts given to others, and twisted the story to say that instead of singing, the earth howled, and marked all those who were evil and corrupt and damned by manifesting the strength of that corruption so that others can find them and kill them.
Society crumbled. Violence broke out, lines were drawn, and war between the anti-Howlers and the Blessed is creeping ever closer.
Most of what I’ve written thus far has been an exploration of what at least Western society has become in the 20-odd years since the Song was heard. There’s been little action so far, and I know that I want to tighten up the pacing when I reach the editing phase. I mean, I’m almost 20,000 words in and so far there’s really only been one short action scene, which is more tense than action-packed, and the pacing is really off because, well, right now I’m in the “banging words out, no matter what those words are” stage of writing. Making it good comes later.
The protagonist, Reid, ended up more of a loner than I originally intended. He has lousy people skills. He doesn’t trust easily, which may have just a teensy bit to do with watching his parents get killed by anti-Howler gangs when he was a teenager, and his subsequent struggle to live on the streets. He has Tourette’s, something which isn’t stated explicitly but the signs are definitely there. (It manifests as a partial version of what I experience, with motor tics; he doesn’t get verbal tics, though, the lucky bugger.)
It’s even odds as to whether he’ll end up hooking up with anyone. I can say for certain that one character, Len, definitely has a crush on Reid, but at this point I’m honestly not sure if saying, “My main character has a neurological disorder and is gay,” just comes off as me trying too hard. So I’m letting the characters choose. If it happens, it happens. If not, then not. They definitely have chemistry between them, and Reid associates better with Len than with anyone else he’s encountered so far… But he also hasn’t encountered many people, so that may change as things go.
So, that’s how NaNo has been going for me. Please, tell me your own NaNo stories. Is writing going well, slowly, not at all? Did you experience what I usually do and get tired with your chosen story idea quickly and then desperately had to find another one in order to keep writing? I want to hear all about it! (And hey, you can always count what you say in the comments as words for your project, so feel free to be verbose!)