Friday, 6 April 2012

Hey! All the letters!

Yes, all your favourite characters are back in their beautiful correctly-placed glory.
I'm writing this on my weeny teeny notebook, which is totally fine, since I wrote a whole novel on here.

Actually, let me tell you about that god awful piece of prose.

So at 6pm on the first day of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) I had no idea what to write about. IN THE SLIGHTEST AT ALL.
Bear in mind that the daily word count, in order to reach 50,000 words on the 30th November is 1,667. And basically, you want to get as much as you can early in the month, because at the end of the month, you want never to have even seen any of the letters in 'NaNoWriMo' (hey, if you're writing it on my other computer, you may not have!).
So I know for me at least, I have to get ahead at the start of the month. I think the first day last year I wrote nearly 4000 words, the second day another 3(thousand), the third day 3 and so on.
But at 6 on the day of, I had not even the faintest idea. I'd just got back from travelling, hadn't even really committed to doing it (my get-out-of-jail-free card for if I failed) and sat down to write hoping something would come out.
It didn't, really, for like an hour? And when it did, I almost wished it hadn't.

It started as like, some weird romance story. There was a girl in the normal world, with a huge bitch of a mum and a boring life, and this guy in this fantasy dragon world (I'd just been reading the Song of Ice and Fire books ...) and each would get their own chapter, swapping over et cetera.
I started off thinking it would be kind of the story of their whole lives, and their weird awareness of the other, sometimes getting flashes of what their experiencing, but eventually (obviously) living their whole lives without meeting.
Also known as a shit idea.
But I started writing it anyway, and I quickly found that it took me about 12 BILLION (but realistically like 4) times longer to write the stupid boring girl than it did to write the guy. So after the second chapter, which was the guy's, I wrote another of the girl's chapters, and then had her and a friend teleport or whatever into the fantasy world. Didn't bother explaining it or anything. Pfffft.
She then lived with the oldish couple who had a farm and they helped out and it was STILL BORING, because I couldn't think of a way to get them to leave this place. If you've ever written anything (particularly something long) you'll know that sometimes, the characters just don't want to do what you want them to.

I never really understood that idea before my 2010 NaNo, but golly gumdrops do I get it now. You characters develop into these creatures that you feel like you have no control over, and this STUPID GIRL and her STUPID FRIEND were determined to live quiet, boring lives with this oldish couple and just BLAH.

So after a few more chapters of both of them, with the guy becoming the apprentice to a dragon rider (yes, it's basically Eragon) I just stopped writing the girl. I just never went back to her. So she's still with her friend at this little old house, helping out, sewing and cooking and fixing. When I left her, she and the friend were making plans to go into town, just to sell some pots they'd been decorating at the house to buy some clothes. So I left them to it. Far be it from me to make them life an interesting life, and have at least one of them meet the boy of her dreams. And yeah, that meant I ignored her for the rest of the novel, and didn't even acknowledge her departure from my plot.

Meanwhile the boy of her dreams had gone and fallen in love with another rider's apprentice, and they have long training montages, and pretty much both the boy and the girl are awesome.

The way it works in this world, because there are a limited number of dragon egss. Like, they only come out every few years. So when a new one is 'announced', which basically means it's nearly ready for hatching, all the dragon riders pick an apprentice, and train them up until they're summoned to the capital. Then each apprentice goes through some tests, and each one touches the dragon egg and yada yada yada, the dragon picks the rider from the apprentices.

In this instance though, quite anomalously, TWO dragon eggs have been announced, so TWO apprentices will be chosen. And the guy's rider, and the girl he likes (not the boring girl) 's rider work together (a never-before-seen tactic in this world, for these never-before-seen, or at the very least, rarely-before-seen events) to get both THEIR apprentices chosen.

Then some stuff happens and drama and yeah.

So that's my novel, in a very large, very heavy, very rotten nutshell.
Now no-one need ask me to read it ever again, because you've just seen what a spectacular waste of your time it would be.

Thank you, thank you very much.

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