NaNoMore – What Happened?
There was a sound beneath him, at the foot of the bed. He turned again, aware of the dull throbbing in his shoulder as he moved. His eyes fought his efforts to open them, and a blurry image of concrete walls greeted him, which slowly focussed to settle upon the shape of Juniper.
“I recall seeing this hat,” she turned the conical disc slowly in her hands, “almost every week in the library, stood before me once again for some new misdemeanour to be reprimanded. Somewhat iconic of Leylandii, wouldn’t you say? Almost as much a part of his identity as his smile, and his disregard for maintaining order. I shall miss it. Despite it all, I shall remember him fondly as the young boy who challenged everything he was told until he understood exactly why it was being told to him.
“Do you think that the same young boy would have ignored well reasoned advice, endangered the lives of his friends and comrades, his own life, and the lives of everyone at this facility, to retrieve a hat? No matter how well meaning the intentions, no matter how competent he may have thought himself, Leylandii was not fool enough to risk so much for so little.” She placed the hat on a table behind her, utterly expressionless “Your actions have not only shown contempt for his memory, but a total disregard for your own life, with which the council feels you can no longer be trusted.”
My novel followed the story of a rather petulant and self absorbed young man called Thyme, who’s journey from the safety of the power plant he calls home is driven by the death of a friend, “Landi” whose body he is forced to leave behind, and then denied the right to return to bring him home, by the council who refuse to authorise the trip, or his friend’s own mother. He and his remaining friends rebel and come close to bringing Landi’s body home, before being attacked again by the same immense beast along the way, barely making it to safety.
On this journey Thyme stumbles across a mystery that refuses to let him go. Landi died trying to show him something or someone in the desert, and a sound he keeps hearing that tantalises him to hunt out its source drive him to leave the power plant alone, knowing that he could never return. He is subsequently captured by a band of dangerous cultists worshipping the gigantic monster, to which he was almost sacrificed, but escapes and swiftly discovers – or is discovered by – the source of the mysterious sound and the mystery he follows, a little old woman who has mysteriously survived alone for years.
That’s about half the book right there. So why isn’t it done?
This has been a staggeringly busy month, I left one job for another, one that consumed a staggering amount of my time. I subsequently left that job after only two weeks and promptly hit the job hunt hard. I’ve just got a new job, a retail position which I started this week, just in time for Black Friday. Rough times indeed, and it meant that my efforts got off to a rough start, making it hard to catch up.
That being said, it’s been a month of incredibly high motivation, and a whole load of extra jobs have gotten done besides over the last few weeks. I’ve managed to help out here with regular articles, one of my own and half of the Top 10’s… well, maybe a third or so, and I think after the kind of effort I’ve exhibited this month I might well be stepping up the efforts around here for a while.
It’s very difficult to portray the passage of time when you don’t have such things as weather, or changing landscapes. One patch of desert is largely same as another: sand, rock, mountain, ruin, sometimes salt, a plant or two. I also realised that I am lousy at differentiating character voice because every stretch of dialogue they’re all talking much like me. I can wave that away by saying it’s a small community but there are limits.
However, I spent a lot of time with this book toying with metaphors, world building as a part of narrative, and character identity by description, quite a lot of facets of story building that writing articles and building RP campaigns just can’t teach you. Next year I’m determined to finish the job, and in between times I’ll get on to writing a little more narrative pieces casually, shorts, excerpts, character studies and things like that until I feel ready to take on another NaNoWriMo.
And for the record, this story will get finished, at a somewhat more relaxed pace. The whole point of undertaking this project was to complete something, and while I may not have hit my deadline, that doesn’t mean I have to write this off as a complete failure. Here’s shooting for incomplete!
Thanks to all of you for your help in getting me started.