The best part about NaNoWriMo is sometimes not knowing what to write. Especially at the write-ins. We’ll look up, stop writing for a moment, and ask odd questions such as: “I need a last name.” or “Is an angel saying ‘God dammit’ sacrilegious?” or “How do I write small talk?” And so on, so forth.
But at home, or anywhere when writing alone, sometimes you’ve just got to plow forward blindly. Having faith in yourself like this is oftentimes close to impossible. At least for me, I want to analyze and edit and make the story perfect. But I’ve got to take time to turn all this off and just go for it, let the characters walk themselves for a while, and simply witness the story evolve.
I’ve had this year’s story, called Beacon, in my mind for a couple years now. I’ve had the two main characters in mind, nameless, for about as long as I can recall, and the antagonist–an angel named Lsant–in mind for just as long. In my mind Lsant was always cruel and dark and brooding, but on paper he’s downright psychopathic. He’s bored with existence, for reasons I’m only starting to realise myself, and his cruelty is instead sarcasm and manipulation, pitting old foes against each other and taking the long road just for a little fun. Of course, with the unintentional introduction of infatuation (which happens to be to directed toward my main character’s best friend), I have a feeling his plan for a little bit of fun has just gotten a lot more complicated.
Not to mention I have half a dozen other characters that exist somewhere in the story but have yet to show up more than in name. The seraph Sangermaine (tentative spelling) for one, the true mastermind behind all that’s happening, and the demons for another. The angels are easy: They’ve got order, hierarchy. The demons? Not so much. They’re chaotic loners, but if I’m to incorporate them at all–to which I’ve tried to do already–they must at some point begin to coagulate into an army. But the biologies of demons are less refined in my mind, and although I’ve drafted the evolutionary tendencies of angels well enough so far to fit this sci-fi reinterpretation of heaven and hell, without knowing more about how demons function past their moment of creation, I’m at a loss for what to do next.
Thankfully the lovely Lsant is great with persuasion and has done so upon a small side-character that is now going to kidnap the main character and finally let him know just what he’s walked into. Of course, since Lsant will then have his friend in hand, he’ll be stuck now needing to save both of his closest friends, but I think I can make it work.
It brings to mind pendulums. Simply speaking, they’re not simply harmonic. That is, to be defined as simple harmonic motion, its amplitude (how far it’s displaced) and its period (how long it takes to complete one cycle) are completely independent. This is not true for pendulums, except for a certain construction I won’t go into, and more importantly, except for angles substantially less than one radian (which would be comparative to angles substantially less than sixty degrees). The point being, pendulums swing in one direction, pause for a moment, swing back in the other direction–reaching their highest speed, right before slowing down to a stop once more.
This is very much similar to my writing style. I’ll go in one direction for a while, picking up speed, then I’ll stop momentarily and swing back in the other direction. This in a way also reflects my life in general.
I recall implying in my post last week, though not how in-depth I spoke of it, that my NaNo novels end up being like time capsules that frame my current state of mind. This has already begun to manifest itself in this year’s story, from the main character’s not knowing what mess he’s gotten himself into and needing to resort to all his closest friends for help, to the antagonist’s realising how tired of the monotony he’s grown and his willingness to break it at all costs–to himself and others–to the sudden attractions and infatuations that life brings without warning, to the feeling of losing his closest friends to the randomness of life.
In the end I intend this story to have a happy ending. There will inevitably be casualties and broken hearts, though whose yet I cannot predict, but there’s also to be reunions and awakenings and revelations of life-changing proportions. Surely this too is a reflection of my own life, or at least of what I hope it to be: Not broken hearts and casualties, but reunions and awakenings and revelations. And with any luck, new romances and connections as well.
At any moment at any time at any place, the world can change. We may not always notice this, but it always happens–and for someone somewhere right now, it’s happening as you read these words. This same sudden shift of existence can very possibly occur at any time in my story, and certainly at some point it will. This self-portrait is slowly being painted, slowly being built, and who can say what will end up inside it at the end? Surely I cannot, but I hope, I dream, that this time capsule may be a story of good endings and great plots, and perhaps one day it may aid me in reaching my goals of becoming a published author, that it may aid me in finding who I am and where I’m meant to be.