The whole NaNoWriMo thing is both exciting and scary, and for similar reasons to the things I spoke about yesterday. I have a lot of ideas attached to this story I’ll be writing, and I’m not sure if I’ve really explained what it is here.
I’ve done a lot of planning for it, probably the most I’ve done since 2006-2007 while working on other parts of the same setting, and am fairly nervous about it, keen to start, and already getting glimpses of certain phrases or words I want to begin with.
Most of it manifests while listening to my writing playlist, and in true obsessive style, I tend to listen to my playlist all the time. The November crunch has increases the likelihood of me wanting a playlist for any piece of writing I do, and it’s one way that I get myself ready. There’s one that keeps standing out as an overall song for the entire novel, that somehow captures the combined thoughts of fate, desolation and hope.
It’s one thing knowing the fates of the characters, and I’ve known their fates since I first came up with them, before this was a NaNoWriMo concept. Feeling it is immeasurably larger. I have my astronaut, and she’s my favourite character of the lot. I’m already getting the twinges of her failures in some areas, and then her successes elsewhere. I’ve had her major strength and weakness down for a while, knowing the events that she’s going to be involved with, and the eventual outcome of her place in the story. In some ways, she’s the inheritor of the aborted rewrite of my first NaNo, when I had experimented with changing the sex of the character from male to female – I loved what the character had brought to the role, but my head-canon for Shimmer was hard to change (and the thought of rewriting the entire thing into a virtual first draft wasn’t very appealing).
When I started working on Trail’s rewrite, she was there again – a ship Captain in the short backstory fragment I’d put in, and it was there that she comes from.
Initial planning had her with a specific name that was a combination of the Shimmer-version of her, and other pieces of inspiration. The planning process changed such that she instead took on the name of the character’s sister. I know where her story is going and where it begins, but I don’t yet know the paths between. I’m really ready to start, ready to find out what her complete story is.
The other major characters are there, ready to do their bit, and the same song echoes their fates, and the fate of the world, and humanity, and everything.
I know my first words, close enough for the first draft – close enough for NaNo. When she’s up there in space, doing astronaut things and looking down at Earth, I know what she’s thinking about this jumbled blue and green sphere. It is everything. Perhaps not literal, but for our lives, past and present? Yes. I doubt I’ll live long enough to see real humans look at our planet with what comes next for her, but hope that the day is there in our collective futures – the day when someone up there can look down at Earth and say it was everything, because our futures lie elsewhere.
For now, I’ll be content with her.