Best wishes and writing! 😊
So the plan is to post a chapter per week every Friday. There will be breaks between each of the three sections my NaNo story is divided into.
This means my Weekly Writing posts will move to Monday, for anyone that read those.
Best wishes and writing!
My goal, as it’s already been edited, was to start posting the chapters (and revised one I’ve already posted) today. But I’m waffling on how I want to divide my chapters up. Do I go for shorter chapters or longer ones?
One might wonder why it isn’t already divided. After all, I wrote it. And yes, there was a vague sense of “this is where this chapter ends” or “this chapter begins.” The problem is that the word count is just so…uneven, no matter which way I go at it. And it’s just…bugging me.
Short Chapters: 1424/1470/1655/1873/1544/2085/1575
(it’s that bolded chapter that’s giving me trouble! I can’t cut it up, since most of it is one long scene)
Long Chapters: 2895/2825/2237/1544/2085/1575
I wrote A LOT last month. I nearly filled an entire, fat notebook.
Not all it is part of my NaNo story; some of it (a small part) is notes and some of it is rewritten scenes and some of it is plot progression I cut and did over. So, I’m pretty sure I didn’t write 50k words for my story, although I might have gotten close to writing 50k words.
This NaNo has shown me that having a strong sense of what the story is about and the order it’s going to happen in and the aim of each section (and even some backstory) is a good thing. What I’d like to do for some other NaNo is do that — but for a full story. This one that I did was really three connected stories forming a larger story. Or at least that was the idea.
And that’s another thing last month taught me: that no matter how much I might plan and (think) I know what’s happening, that won’t stop the story from shifting as I write it. The order of events, how details are revealed, or where plot points are placed.
Initially, I wasn’t sure what to think of my NaNo end results, mostly because I wasn’t sure I had achieved my aim. Had I written all of what it was that had been gnawing at me for years? Well, maybe. Trying to figure it out led me to, once again, categorizing and calibrating all the tales upon tales that make up all the ~stuff~ I aimed to fill my NaNo story with.
And that’s when I realized why I started having trouble during the last two weeks: the content I was trying to write, while yes involved in the lineage of the Moon, really only connected tangentially to what my broader NaNo story was about.
So, there’s two ideas this week. One, I was just thinking about (although my NaNo story probably helped), and the other is something I’ve learned doing NaNo.
First: I like to distinguish between “antagonist” and “villain”. The former is just what opposes the protagonist of a story. The latter is someone defined as “bad”, who may act cruelly, callously, selfishly, and manipulatively. I know villains can be nuanced, from backstory and dissecting whose POV the story comes from (a la monsters), but like… I think that’s why it’s taken me this long to start seeing the appeal of villains, rather than just antagonists.
Before, if I asked, I think I would have divided villains into: 1. transformed destructiveness which may be be resolved through commonality or compassion or understanding and 2. purposely cruel, manipulative, abusive, and possessive individual (usually male).
The first appears in Disney’s Moana, Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, and Novak’s Uprooted; these are some of my favorite and strongest influences. This is also one of my favorite types of stories. That, and the unexpected twist (all these do that, as does Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings).
The second appears in Revolutionary Girl Utena as Akio and my NaNo story.
There were a lot of villains in my childhood that didn’t fit either category, and therefore, didn’t really register. Or if I had a third category, it was: mean for the sake of being mean. (A lesser form of category 2.)
But I’ve come to see how writing about villains — and I mean actually not nice characters — can be kind of interesting. Case in point: a short story I finished right before November features essentially only villain characters, but it still has a protagonist(s) and an antagonist. Like, the characters are kind of terrible people, but it’s still about them.
The other point is that I think having an outline is really useful for me — as long as I don’t numerically break down scenes. Once I have a number value, say 10 scenes, it becomes like an equation. I have to hit the quota of scenes, say 1-5, rather than focusing on the story or how characters feel. My current solution? Outline. But use bullet points, not numbers.
How do other people outline? Does anyone have anything similar to what I’m talking about? Let me know, if you like. (As it’s NaNo, I might not respond until December, but I wanted to extend the question.)
Best wishes and writing!
So, I planned to type up the next chapter yesterday, to post today. But I got gummed up on the next story. Not so much the what, but the how: how the next story follows, in what order should the events go, are these the events I want, is this the best order?
Spending some time in this season’s first snowfall helped. (Well, that and re-reading my list of Untrue Stories that form a basis for a lot of the belief in my NaNo story.)
As for now, I will have to rethink when I’ll post the story. I’m hoping, if I don’t post as much as I intended in November, than I’ll post in a more consistent pattern in December. Or I’ll post the next chapter on Friday or thereabouts. I shall see. Thank you for putting up with my inconsistency as I figure this out as I go.
Best wishes and (NaNo) writing!
The most prominent writing I did was NaNoWriMo. It’s kind of surreal writing a story that I have (and know) so much backstory about. Like whoa. There’s reasons and stories and such that probably won’t appear explicitly in it, but which have significance to the plot and characters.
Also, since I’ve been writing a lot by hand, I haven’t posted as much as I’d planned to. The first story (Tale of the Princess) is finished, as of yesterday, and the next two stories should be relatively short. And then I can get on writing the second part.
I’ll be the first to say that my NaNo story is, perhaps, not the most universal (I’ve never been good with understanding experiences deemed universal for humans), nor the most diverse. But it contains themes and ideas that have, apparently, been congealing inside me for over a decade. (Admittedly, I have other stories and ideas that are much older…)
Some of these include:
- A fractured being and the consequences; having been fractured and having fractures stitched or impaled onto one’s essence or soul
- A shining prince and/or hero who saves the world (but doesn’t) and has a sister (but doesn’t), who turns him into his shining self through her love (which she doesn’t); tales that build up blame on a woman for being wicked, as a witch or the prince’s sister or from curiosity or being selfish and vain
- The layered accusatory tales against monsters and demons; the difference between belief in the dichotomy of good & evil and creatures whose lifestyles and functions can be coded as “bad” or are incongruent with human life and development; also the difference between creatures that live incongruous to human welfare and controlled self-righteous possession/manipulation
- The woman who has suffered forever and lives in unending pain; can she be free? can she be healed? also that she deserves it for being wicked or corrupt
Will all these be equally prominent? Probably not. Do some of these (especially the monsters and demons) appear in nearly everything I write. Oh, yes!
Best wishes and writing!