NaNoWriMo: Character Creation Mode

It’s November first. NaNoWriMo is upon us and I have a working idea (unless I scrap it at today’s write-in, like I did last year). When Brian got home from work at 7am I dragged myself out of bed for the world’s earliest brunch (at that hour it’s just breakfast, don’t try to trick me) on the condition that he let me blather about my ideas and shoot holes in them for me.

He’s exceptional at shooting holes in ideas. I should rent him out to others for a fee.

This time he just side-eyed at me and went, “It sounds like you’re giving your favorite character all the best gear. He gets all the ancient relics! Everyone else gets… I don’t know… pointy sticks.”

What do you mean he can't just be 10s across the board?

What do you mean he can’t just be 10s across the board?

I don’t think there’s anything at all unreasonable about a teenage assassin in love with creature comforts like drinking and gambling, at a Victorian-esque boys’ boarding school, caught in a web of spying and duplicity and deceit! He has weaknesses–he’s rebellious, has a major problem with authority, is arrogant and a bit selfish and a clever manipulator. He also thinks he’s smarter than he is, and gets too deep into a plot beyond his reckoning.



Let’s face it–the only way this character could be cooler would be to be female (note to self). 

How this year fits with previous efforts:

In 2011 I began a steampunk fantasy story set in a fictional place about 40 years after a catastrophic event that destroyed the known world.

Ever since I’ve been ironing out world details, trying to understand what this place was like before the apocalypse in order to be better informed about what it should be like after. It’s a massive undertaking–I’m effectively inventing two complete fantasy worlds and having them overlap. With zombies.

In 2013 I began to iron out who caused this calamity, and how and why.

In 2014 I dug laterally, examining another culture of people during the same era.

This year’s plan is expanding the world further, and exploring how the 2013 catalysts fell into place.

That’s right. I’m writing backstory for backstory. This must be what going mad feels like. I’ve hit some sort of writerly inception as an expert-level means of procrastination, because I am too emotionally attached to my 2011 story to finish it.

But the idea is that once I have a steady, sensible timetable for the apocalypse and an understanding of the world that shaped it and the world that was shaped by it, there should be nothing in the way of me finishing the story and… I don’t know, whatever one does with manuscripts. Put it on a shelf somewhere and feel insecure and vulnerable.

How has your first 12 or so hours gone?


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