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Nanowrimo Eve

Well, it's the day before Nanowrimo kicks off, which has me thinking about the story that I've been intending to write this year. So I'm going to have to write a little bit about my Nano project, because I think the story I originally wanted to write is a Very Flawed concept. And writing down my thought process behind these changes will help me figure out where I'm going with this. 

I think I'm going to have to abandon some of my preconcieved notions about the story I'm going to write. Originally, I thought I was going to write about a very morally ambiguous character whose mental disorder actually prevented her from using the part of the brain that determines right from wrong. I'm not so sure this would work anymore, because a basic premise in all stories is fighting against the Big Bad or Monster of the Week. There are very few people out there that can successfully pull off moral ambiguity in their characters, and as much as I would love to write from that perspective -- I am just not wired to think that way. It makes my brain actually hurt to think like that. So, I may have to take my character in the opposite direction -- she tends to be a well-intentioned extremist, but she has to be reigned back by a more pragmatic character. 

Which also changes the role of her best friend, who may or may not become the other viewpoint character. Her best friend is still male, but he is somewhat less idealistic. Not cynical, but he has a much more pragmatic approach. And I pretty much realized that I'm basing this character on a very good friend, who has bailed me out of severe emotional distress, computer-related dillemmas, and other various troubles I get into. Although my main character may not be drawn from life, this guy will be. Unless he surprises me.

The setting definitely remains urban fantasy. I read a lot of high fantasy, and I'm very picky about my urban fantasy because a lot of it is horribly, horribly cliched. While fantasy in general tends to be cliched and overdone, some high fantasy authors sort of go out of their way to turn classic tropes on their ear or the very least be entertaining and consistant. Unfortunately, urban fantasy has some pretty concrete cliches that are almost never broken. For instance, 8 times out of 10 it is told in the first person. 10 out of 10 times the character is a bonafied smartaass, with varying degrees of Anti-Hero or Byronic Hero Syndrome. If female, they are as ungirlie as possible, because We Have to Buck Gender Stereotyping Here. They're almost always some kind of private investigator or cop, and if they aren't there's some kind of Sekrit Society that functions in the same role. There is at least one big skeptical character, and one True Believer. And -- this is the important one -- they are almost always based in worlds where paranormal creatures like vampires, fairies, demons, and such are real. I have read exactly one story where magic was one hundred percent human in origin, without any mention of Mystical Creatures. And that, right there, pisses me off. Because as one of my favorite writers said, "If there was really a giant unknown hominid roaming the Pacific Northwest someone would have hit it with a car or sold it weed by now." Although she was talking about Bigfoot sightings, the same principal applies to vampires, werewolves or the Fae. 

I might still have the Byronic or Anti-Hero syndrome. I may make her a smartass. I may make her a little more girlie than I originally intended, because even though I am deeply unfeminine, I still enjoy "girlie" things like makeup and pretty party dresses. Actually, I really love wearing dresses and skirts. And I may not write this in the first person, but if I do, I'm going to try very hard to have her have a distinct mental voice. So many of these viewpoint characters are so very, very much the same.

So the only hard and fast thing I've figured out about this world is that there are no Mystical Creatures. Her best friend is Important for a number of reasons. I still think I really ought to link magic with mental disorders somehow, I just... I have to figure out how. And of course, I've figured out a good chunk of this characters family back story. I'm a little taken aback by how many of my ideas just aren't going to work, but maybe it's for the better. In all reality I'll probably flail around shrieking  "What the fuck am I writing about! I cannot work under these conditions! ARGH!" But If I'm going to succeed, it may be brilliant and my characters may pleasantly surprise me. Great speculative fiction has been written with less in mind on the onset, I'm sure. 

Tomorrow, we'll see what happens. 


 

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