I entirely failed to mention nano again in the actual month of november – but it’s done now, and I succeeded! I think I just couldn’t deal with focusing on nano for the blog as well as for working on the story – not to mention, all the drama in dogland, what with tales from the emergency vet, hazardous ingestion, and, of course, playing with sheep.
Clearly there was no time to harp on my frustrations with the story I started on the first of November, and the fact that, while I still really like the whole ‘initial premise’, I entirely fizzled out with the ‘what happens next? why did this happen?’
A quick summary of my story idea, in hopes that you all might have some diabolical idea to help give that story the boot in the trousers it SO desperately needs: a kind-of-boring girl is kidnapped in the middle of the night and taken through a portal to another world. She is tested to determine where in this nomadic culture she fits best, along with a number of other people, both from her world and from the clan itself. They are then put into training in the aspect of the clan they are most suited to.
… Well… I think it’s a decent start, anyways. There’s a terrifying horse-test (‘stay on the wild horse, and don’t die, and you pass the test’), and a variety of characters. I even stopped myself when I realised that MC (Main Character) was getting along with everyone, adjusting nicely to her new life, and ready to live happily ever after less than two days (and under 10000 words) after being kidnapped. There was some real potential for some really jerk-ish moves by some of the other characters. BUT, some questions I couldn’t think up an original answer to:
Why was she taken? Why are they kidnapping people from our world who are entirely unsuited to the nomadic war-like clan culture?
what is the main conflict? Some kind of quest? Don’t you think the people raised in the clan have a better chance of completing the quest? Also, aren’t prophecies kind of a tired/oversimplified thing? It means that MC can’t help but succeed, doesn’t it? I considered making it some kind of destiny thing – where the clans are trying to find a place they can live and stop being nomadic… but I like the nomadic culture… it’s cool, and suited to the way I divided the people up.
So, instead of writing a story, I found myself writing faaaaar too much about training and living around camp (shut up about latrines already – no-one cares how a giant tent-city of people manages their business! As proof, note that George R R Marten never mentions horse poop, or the king using the privy in a Game of Thrones… not once!), and was putting myself to sleep with my unnecessarily long description of cleaning tack. Also, someone as self-conscious and mousey as the MC I wrote should NOT be adjusting so easily to becoming confident and leaderly in her post-kidnapping life.
And then, suddenly, down to barely managing to squeeze out 100 words in a day (When you decide to go to sleep early instead of staying up until your usual hour and writing some more, you know your story is dull!), I had an idea, and I started something new. That first day on the new story, I wrote 11000 words. I have dreams about it… coherent dreams… about things that could happen next. That’s how much I got into the idea of it. It’s also nice to know, at least in part, what’s going to happen next, and no, it isn’t “happily ever after” within three chapters.
I’ll admit, I had to use the word count for the combination of original-story and new-story to get to my 50014 words (as of 10:30 last night), but, starting a new story at day 23/30, I would have had to write over 7000 words per day. And, after I got that first ridiculous amount of writing scrawled on a page, I was doing pretty good, in my opinion, at getting out 3000 ish words per day. It was just nice not to be bored to death by my story!
Congrats to everyone who did Nano, and extra congrats if you got to your 50000 words!