Here’s a status update: I successfully completed NaNoWriMo this year. It was in all a very, very different experience than last years. It was more enlightening, and a great learning experience! Above all, it was fun.
Research, From Where I left Off
Last year I started work on my first novel, that with the intention of understanding, and getting to experience what the novel process involves. At some point during that experiment, it turned out to become something more; something that I would want to explore further. It became something that brought ideas, thoughts, and worlds to me. When I was not writing, I was imagining events, character interactions, rooms, buildings, equipment, and what not. Today, it has become a project; a live one.
This ear the actual writing started on the 11th, as opposed to the 1st of November. Although, it was scheduled to start by the 8th instead of the 11th, I took the extra days, wanting to complete the research, and go through what I had written, composed, and completed last year. It was a mess. I was a mess. The finished-fifty-thousand words needed some TLC when it came to getting organized.
And, that’s exactly what I did then. I started organizing dates, events, character profiles, plot information, subplot information, created a map, and more. It took considerable amount of time to get to a point where I could start, from where I had left off last year. Though, once I started, the story began to reflow.
From the 11th to the 28th of November, all that I could think, and do was getting the novel together to a satisfying end, take notes, and then proceed with writing the novel. Slowly, like a mule, it progressed. Flashes of genius, they came, and went; all written down, tied together in the first novel of the series.
On the series bit, last year I had decided to write the novel as a trilogy. Finding out that the first novel itself had so much to fill in for, so many details to pay attention to, and so many events that created plots, and subplots, it became inevitable to have to make the series a five part one, instead of a trilogy.
Most of the days, I was catching up to the NaNoWriMo recommended, daily average of words to be written in a day. Some days, the flow enabled a leap of sorts, and the word count then would go up; at one point it went up to ten thousand, without me even realizing it.
Compared to last year, this year’s NaNoWriMo was more immensely satisfying, in terms of the quality of the overall story, the learning experience it brought, the kind of characters that decided their own characteristics, race, and behavioral patterns.
While taking a walk with a friend, she inquired if there were traits in the characters that were born within the world of the book; those characteristics that would be found common between the characters, and I. This question made me think then, about the odd characters that the first book is now home to, about their likenesses to mine own. It dawned then, like one of those flashes of geniuses I mentioned above, that while one or two of them may have some characteristics in common with me, and while some others were based on my favorites from other books that I’ve read, it would come to light that most, if not all the characters in the book were their own creations. Each one of them at a point started dictating their own actions, as if coming alive, and into existence. This further made the world that is created, feel more alive. As the words came to be, so did their cultures, races, needs, wants, motives, plots, subplots, and behavioral patterns.
Another question I was asked was that if the story had to do with something real, as in something that’s based or from this world. It is, and the story is based on the current state of our world, and its spirit. It is based on Gaia, in a non Captain-Planet-y way.
Another thing I noticed, while, and after I had finished writing this year, is that the magic system kept on evolving within the rules, and it evolved within the constraints I had created within the first 50 thousand words. It was interesting to dive into how magic, and to some extent the technology in the first book, affected, and effected cultures, politics, countries, and cults. How social, governmental, and hierarchical groups related to one another, the world, and it’s cultures, traditions, languages, and events, all of them revolved around the magic that is present in the created world.
More on the first novel soon. As of now, I do not have any plans on participating in next year’s NaNoWriMo. I would be taking that time to editing, and making sure I get the first book published, and out on the shelves.