Despite feeling a bit tipsy from the mead we had at last night’s Samhain dinner, I woke up bright and early today to begin my project. I look forward to NaNo all year. I was genuinely excited about the revised and re-imagined sci fi. So naturally, I expected the words to come when I opened that shiny, new blank page. The beginning came slowly, but most of them do. It’s not unusual for me to stumble out of the gate at the onset. The words would start to flow once I found my voice.
Well, color me surprised when I got to page two and everything came to a screeching halt. I wrote just under 1K words, but none of them felt right. The narrative was limp. My character’s actions and dialog were as wooden as any of the ‘performances’ in the Star Wars prequels. Then came the horrifying thought: I am not feeling this idea at all.
I admit, I panicked a bit. I had put in SO MUCH effort into the backstory. I had the foundation set up. But once I was able to enter my mental playground, none of the toys there appealed to me.
I’ve written enough stories to know when one just won’t work. And rather than waste my time and energy on a project I wasn’t going to enjoy, I did something I haven’t done since I started NaNo back in 2009.
I started over with an entirely new and unscripted idea.
Here it is: A multi billion dollar organization takes over the remains of Earth’s first colony, which was ravaged by a solar flare, to promote lucrative, gladitorial-like games using the survivors as players. They are bought and sold to rival owners, their basic rights and needs ignored, their freedom forfeit. When one player threatens to undermine the whole thing, his sympathetic owner arranges for him to become the property of an unsuspecting arena employee at his death. The player and the arena employee unite to show Earth what’s really going on while fighting to stay alive. There is romance in the forecast.
Aside from drawing inspiration from Roman gladiators and players in modern professional sports, the idea is lso linked to my own love of football. I’m passionate about it. And passion is key to any written project, so why not utilize it here? However, I wrote my 2011 project based off my fangirlish delight over Tom Hiddleston’s performance as Loki. Unfortunately, I crashed and burned at the 25K mark. I have plenty of reason to be wary of this idea suffering the same fate. I’m still going to err on the side of passion. NaNo isn’t about ‘finishing’ a story. It’s about starting a draft that has the potential to become something more. Right now, I want to tell this story. We shall see how it goes.
Hope everyone else had a productive first day!