It’s about this time each year that I stay up at night, pacing, talking to myself about what just happened and unable to sleep, unable to go to bed without knowing–how will my story end?!
And every year I surprise myself.
My first year doing NaNo (this was in 2006, when I had no life and showed off this fact by writing 160,000 words in one month–a cumulative count of four inter-related stories), I ended my story story by–oh, no! spoiler alert!–showing that two of my main characters had been dead the whole time, a third was simply insane, and the other was actually the sun. And no, that’s not a typo. His mother was the moon. He just hadn’t known that then.
In NaNo two (in oh-seven), I ended with an anticlimactic confrontation after a dramatic revival of a dead character using the title-theme of my story–a spellbinding ritual of blood, water, and wine. Then vampires came. Cue the scary music…but leave out the scary. Epic fail, but I was in a rush, what can I say? And the twist? They all lived happily ever after.
In my third attempt at writing a fifty-thousand word novel in one month, I once more doubled it up and concluded my tale by ending precariously on the brink of war, but holding off the battle due to my innate lack of being able to write good battle scenes. I’d like to think I’ve improved in the last two years, but I’m not really certain. In any case, the Wolves and the Angels (completely unrelated to this year’s angels, as those in ’08 were angels born of genetic mutations implanted into the human race by a mad scientist-slash-lunatic crazed religious fanatic thousands of years before the story even started, seeding a caste system that ended in the Gothic stylings of the story’s main city, a place called Eden). Where was I again? Oh, yes, it all ended on a pensive note of plausible peace, with the birth of a young girl named Belinda. But that’s another story.
And that’s exactly how I ended it, too.
So last year, I didn’t write a novel. I wrote a collection of short stories I hope to someday polish up and publish in a single volume. So it’s close enough to novel-like, I suppose. In any case, I ended the series of stories with a tale of two lovers, a final end-game to the sequence, a personal proclamation of singular significance. And I totally rocked with my alliteration right there. Go me!
And then there’s this year. I ended writing exactly 79,525 words today (by which I mean Monday), but I just missed the midnight deadline to get it to show up on the NaNo site. That’s alright. It’s still a cool number, one I’m very proud of. And it’s a definite guarantee that I’ll reach my goal this year of eighty-thousand words, a perfectly publishable size for a first-time to-be-published novelist like myself. However, will my story end in time? I haven’t a clue.
Once again, I’ve got that “oh no” feeling, and I’ve already spent almost half an hour pacing with all that’s gone on. I’ve killed over thirty characters in the past two days, and albeit, most of them were faceless, but two of them had names and a third actually was a pivotal character in the story for some time being, while a fourth had some screen time but was a traitor in the end. And I know, before this story ends, I will kill at least one more character the readers will hopefully have come to love by the time she dies, as well as at least one more named character, if not a few. We’ll see how things go.
But, oh, how Nesiya sums it up perfectly! I’ve already drafted her words, though when she’ll say them, I’m not entirely certain. But when she gets around to it, she’ll say this: “All of Heaven is falling, and all of Hell is rising up. What has the world become?”
And it’s true. Think a battle on the scale of the Lord of the Rings (all alluded to off-screen, because like I said, I can’t do battle scenes well, and although I’ve gotten better with one-on-one action, large-scale wars still scare me), and elsewhere, heaven is hailing down like on Sodom and Gomorrah–and I even say it just like that in the book!
It’s all pretty chaotic at the moment, thankyouverymuch.
So where will it end? I’ve gotten that written, too. It all began with the Prelude– “She burned in bright fire / Blue and white shining through her / A beacon to all” –and then at 40,000 words I added an interlude–what are you, foolish? I’m not gonna share that here!–and now I’ve got the last bit of the story told. The extralude. What comes after everything else. It’s another five, seven, five syllables of unparalleled perfection, in my humblest opinion, and it’s the perfect cap to this year’s story.
Now I only need to write its ending.
I’ve got a nagging suspicion I’ll get to 82,000 before the story comes to an end. I’ve got a few scenes stuck in my head of what’s going to happen–death of a dominion, angel annihilation, and lovers united–but all the pieces, the pieces befuddle me and confound me.
I really don’t know what’s going to happen.
But trust me, it’s all going to happen by the stroke of midnight on November 30, 2010. You can mark my words, my story will end tonight. And you can take my word, too, this has been my favorite NaNo of all five and the one I’m most confident in seeing published any time soon. Have no doubts, though, that whether it’s this story or the next, someday I will turn the page from nobody to novelist, and then, then I shall rule the world!
Or at least have a feast and be really happy. We’ll see how it goes.