I probably should’ve done this at the actual mid-point of the month, but I didn’t start properly until a few days in anyway so let’s just pretend I’m far more punctual than I actually am.
Last time I wrote about Camp NaNoWriMo, I was quite far behind. I caught up literally the day after posting that and am now currently ahead a couple days, sitting on 10.2k out of my 15k goal. 50k just was not gonna happen this month.
I’m starting to get into the swing of the story. Some ideas about worldbuilding are starting to take shape in a way they couldn’t while I was just in the planning stage. The worldbuilding I’m attempting is quite ambitious for my standards and the research is going to kill me. I have a conquering empire that bears some similarities to the Romans, but I’m currently listening to a podcast about that so at least I have some basic working knowledge while I work out what specifically I need to research. I’m toying with having a more distant empire on more amiable terms with my protagonists’ homeland but I’m… not completely sure about that. I might change that in rewrites.
I’ve got to sort out my magic system and religions. The magic is gradually getting there but the religion isn’t really there all that much aside from the fact I want something to exist in opposition to traditional fairy beliefs held by the characters living in the land in which most of the story is set.
I’m trying an alternating dual POV when I’ve only ever written single-POV stories before. Additionally, because I like to torture myself, one is written in past tense and the other in present tense, but they’re both currently in first person. The alternating thing is kind of working for the moment, but will likely become a problem later so I’m considering that I might separate these two POVs into a Part 1 and Part 2 of the book since they occur in different time periods anyway. And then I might pick one of their POVs to be the dominant one in Part 3. I have time to flesh out that idea since I’m not touching it for this draft anyway.
Anyway, setting that aside…
I’m getting a much better sense of who my protagonists are. I’m not used to going into a project with next to no idea what my characters are like since often character ideas come roughly at the same time as the story idea. This is a special case, since my first thought was “Snow White/Sleeping Beauty f/f retelling” which I fleshed out from there. Typically my first ideas are a little more character-based than that. Of my two protagonists, my Sleeping Beauty character, Tesana, was the least fleshed-out but I’m starting to get a better idea of who she is. In a word? Stubborn.
I also think I might have an aroace character? I’m not sure yet, but I like the idea since I’m going with a “there are many types of love and not all of them revolve around romance” angle in terms of what True Love’s Kiss could potentially mean. Gotta stew on that a little bit more.
So things are coming together. I’m gonna have to be careful with the stepmother character since I could easily slip into internalised misogyny there, but overall I’m okay with how it’s all progressing. I’m definitely going to do more research on empires, the origins of the fairytales I’m retelling, and other miscellany I probably won’t realise I need until I’m halfway through another draft.
I’m not wholly comfortable sharing excerpts at the moment so I’ll just post the one that I’ve put on my Camp NaNoWriMo page anyway.
The sound of the boardwalk markets hits me before anything else, quickly followed by the smell. Hundreds of people crammed in a tight space, yelling and sweating all over each other. Fresh fish cooking over open fires, crackling and spreading their tendrils of mouthwatering scent into clothes and wood and embedding permanently into my nostrils. The tang of spices brought from across the seas. The sea salt and damp wood.
Sure, this place is a corrupt, rancid little pond. But it’s my corrupt, rancid little pond. You won’t get fresher fish anywhere this side of the old kingdom borders. Even the imperials from both empires can’t resist it.
My mouth is watering, but I need to get some business done first. I need time to savour it every time I get to eat a fresh-caught meal up here. I don’t trust people who rush their way through the best meal they’re probably going to get for days.
I’ve got a long way to go, but at least I’ve started something. It’s been a long time since I’ve started completely from scratch with an idea I haven’t at least toyed with a little bit in the past. So, go team!