NaNoWriMo Day 2: In which I cheat and stop writing fantasy, technically

Okay, maybe I am doing more-or-less daily posts on my progress, as so far it seems to be taking over my entire life.

Yesterday, as for many, was the day of doubt for me. What the hell is this project? I have done no research and it shows, even if it is a made-up world. The setting is facile and the characters are cardboard. I tried to think of a way to salvage it, because I was losing interest in the project already, which didn’t bode well on day two.

Craig, my husband, ¬†joking said that I could pretend my story was a book another character was reading and have them put it down and pick up another in disgust and start a new story. And at first I laughed about “cheating” like that. And then I went, “hrm.”

And while I washed the dishes, I pondered my story. I thought of The Princess Bride and the Neverending Story and other framed stories like that and how, no matter how strange the story, it was always an allegory, but most of the time it doesn’t really reflect the main protagonist’s life super closely. At that’s about the act of reading taking you to other places, rather than writing.

I thought about the novel I started writing when I was 15 and how looking back at it 6 years later I burst out laughing when I saw the parallels with my teenage life at the time. Example: I had a sub-plot of a girl locked in a tower and being forced to read books all day by some evil magician. I lived on top of a hill two miles from the nearest bus stop and I read during most of my free time. To this day, I have no idea how that was supposed to tie into the main storyline. And, like many a NaNoWriMo novel, it was laughably bad but had some little moments of truly great writing, especially considering my age at the time. And in some ways, my current Nano fantasy storyline is a more complex version of that original novel I started when I was a teenager.

So now my project is no longer fantasy. It’s about a girl with a terrible homelife (Note: Just to clarify, this is not me inserting my younger self into the novel. My home life growing up was at times a bit unstable but it was full of love). She writes to escape and her protagonist is in a different world with a different background, but still echoes her in several key ways, or possesses attributes she wishes she could have. And now, I have an excuse for the fantasy part of it being shite, at least: she’s a sixteen-year-old writing her first novel. Ta-da. I cheated.

Still not the most amazing, unique idea out there, but now I’m excited about the project again, which is what I needed.

Current word count: 5,238

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