This blog marks the end of my first day of my first attempt at NaNoWriMo.
Daily Target: 1,667
This is my first serious attempt at writing a full length novel, a vague goal I’ve had for most of my life but never properly acted on. Inspired by a friend of mine and self published author Brhi Stokes, I decided to finally give it a serious go earlier this year.
I started out writing short stories on this blog so I didn’t go into it completely unprepared, and I’m really happy with what I’ve achieved here and plan to continue as long as it continues to bring me joy.
The story I have chosen to write is one that I’ve carried with me for many years now. The name I use on this blog, Zairron Plaguestrider, shares an origin with this story.
Back in high school, I used Zeron as my name while playing video games. When we moved to World of Warcraft, I found the name was taken so I altered it’s spelling and to Zairron.
Eventually we played some RPG video games which asked for a last name, since my character in that game was an elven necromancer Zairron became Zairron Plaguestrider.
My friend who hosted the LAN’s we played at got the idea to write a book, staring his character “Emperor Drienn”. I got excited by the idea and Zairron Plaguestrider, the Necromancer became my character in the story we played around with.
During this time period my favourite games were Neverwinter Nights, Dungeon Siege and Dota.
I loved books like the Inheritance Cycle, Artemis Fowl, and anything by Tamora Pierce.
I followed more webcomics than I can remember. One that stuck with me was Dominic Deegan: Oracle For Hire, for it’s character of Rilian Blight. It was the first sympathetic representation of a necromancer I’d encountered, and I loved it.
I wasn’t really into much TV or Movies, but I did enjoy anime. Particularly Naruto, I was a kid, don’t judge me. While far from my favourite character, I found Orochimaru strangely compelling. I could understand why he did the evil things he did, unlike most of the other villains, and I liked that.
That was all around a decade ago, in that time I’ve done a lot of things, consumed a lot of stories and learned a lot. I still don’t really consider myself a real adult, more like a technical adult.
I’ve gained a lot of experience in story telling running tabletop games and Vampire LARP’s for many years. At this point I have the time, energy, confidence and desire needed to start. Every story begins with a word, every journey begins with a single step.
During October I took a swing at plotting, and I confirmed for myself: I am not a plotter. But that’s okay, I still managed to gain some things from the attempt, primarily that I didn’t have a story, I had a backstory and a world for a story.
So during that outlining phase, I managed to tease out the seeds of an actual story, as well as some protagonists to drive it. I’m still lacking a vision for the conflict, as well as pretty much everything else. But it’s a start.
This morning I got up, had breakfast and spent a few hours writing the story for my blog which has been uploaded here. After that I took a break for lunch and to reset my brain.
Now finally we make it to the point where my NaNo writing actually begins. And it was rough, the start of a story always is for me. Up until the moment I have to put something down on the page, the story is perfect. With limitless potential, anything can happen. The moment I lock one character, plot point, or even setting description in place, that potential is infinitely diminished.
It’s hard to do that, to destroy every story that it might have been in favour of just one. Not this one, because who knows how many times the story will change while writing and revising. But the feeling remains the same.
But it got easier as more words came out. It always does, the foundations provide structure to build on. Ephemeral concepts become real, and that’s kinda beautiful.
I didn’t quite make my daily goal, but that may have been largely due to time spent researching. The story as it stands so far, isn’t terrible. I don’t hate it. I’m cautious to criticise it yet, because most artists I know are overly critical of their own work and end up putting themselves of, so I may wait until I let someone else read it before I get harshly critical.
But for now, I’m enjoying it!
Hope your NaNo is going well if you’re doing it,
Future blogs won’t be half as long as this I think, but the backstory I think is nice.