I was discussing our individual NaNo projects with a very good friend of mine (who, I must say, has been such a huge inspiration for me) and talk turned to just how invigorating the whole thing is. See, I’ve long been behind the core idea of NaNo. To write and write and write, details, typos, hell even getting names wrong (which I’m pretty sure I did hehe) doesn’t mean squat in the big picture. Stories born from the 30 day creative fervor are raw, uncut, loud and proud. They display their ugliness as readily as the touches of genius that have gone into their creation. My friend admitted she’s seeing one of her main characters in ways she never even considered prior to NaNo. Her story is an origin story, so the visions she’d had of these characters over the years is different. I know she is pleasantly surprised, and I’m sure they will continue to talk to her.
As for me, Gabriel is flooring me with how wonderfully tragic he is. Just last night, we shared an extremely intimate moment that I as the creator had no idea of. I can’t describe the feeling. Those of you who have achieved such a deep connection to a character know what I’m talking about. They’re no longer a collection of letters on a screen, or the heading for a character sheet. They become living, breathing people with thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams entirely separate from yours. Sometimes you meet them halfway; other times the chasm between you is so great, you despair of ever being able to forge a connection to them. You as the writer are the vessel for their story. It won’t be much of one if you cannot establish contact with them.
Is it the mark of a talented writer the ability to flesh out someone like this? Or is it just one of those things that happens once in a blue moon? I couldn’t tell you. I don’t think of myself as exceptionally talented anyway. When I think of talent, I think of the greats: Tolkien, Margaret Mitchell, Jane Austen, Shakespeare. Romantic idealism has me imagining them writing those stories and plays with little to no effort because of how timeless they are. Then again, I think that if I didn’t have to work so hard to write, the end result wouldn’t be very good. On the other hand, there is such a thing as working TOO hard on an idea that most likely should have been sidelined. Writers are stubborn to a fault, I think. I know it took me a long time to recognize a doable idea versus one that wasn’t meant to get past the planning stages.
I admit, I worried about success this NaNo. Personal history has shown that every time I tackled a new idea for my November project, it fizzled at the halfway mark. Last night’s wonderful occurrence has laid that worry to rest. I am nearing 25K, and I fully intend on riding this thing to wherever it leads me.
I will close out today’s entry with a pic that, I think, best sums up everyone’s NaNo experience.