The End of a Writing Marathon, the Beginning of Another

by syaffolee

Around 10 PM, I finished another short story. Which meant over Labor Day Weekend, I managed to rack up 32k words of fiction. So, I surpassed my goal of 30k for my unofficial participation in the 3-Day Novel Contest. I’m actually less impressed with the word count and more impressed that I actually finished two stories in three days. I think that has to be a record somewhere.

The latest story I finished was a retelling of the fairy tale Prince Lindworm. I don’t have a title for the story yet–my placeholder is simply “Retelling of Prince Lindworm” right now. My retelling also has elements reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast, but I think it’s only a superficial resemblance. At the moment, the draft is in very rough form. It’s also told in first person by the heroine who kind of comes across as very angry. (Then again, she’s had a lot happen to her so I get why she’s angry.) It needs quite a bit of editing, especially on characterization. Because if the reader is going to sympathize with her, she needs to show some vulnerability.

But now that the 3-Day Novel Contest is over, I’m looking forward to NaNoWriMo. Yes it’s in November, but still. Less than two months away! And with the idea I have in mind, I think I may need a fair amount of time to prepare. So what is this idea? Well, I first mentioned it on Twitter. It’s based on The Dakar Rally which I found really fascinating when I first read about it. My original thought was to have a sci-fi version of the event, but then I thought it would work even better as a fantasy. There are so many interesting themes and ideas I can work with in a race across the African continent.

I already have two very interesting main characters in mind for the story. They are both murderers. They don’t like each other. But if they don’t work together and win the race, both of them will die. (Of course, they could die in the race, too, but that’s another matter.) As the actual Dakar Rally had different routes from year to year, my first step in planning is to pick what route to take. Then I’ll start research on the countries the route passes through, paying special attention to the mythology and folklore in those places. I think it’s going to be fun looking that stuff up. I’ve always thought that African folklore and mythology was interesting, but I’ve never had the proper story idea to use all that stuff before. But now I do.

Yeah, I’ve done NaNo for a long time. This should be old hat by now. But that’s the thing about loving writing. Every time you sit down and do it, it’s exciting because you have an exciting idea to tell. And I think it’s great that I’ve finally found an idea I’m enthusiastic about using for this year’s NaNo. (Of course, this is subject to change between now and then, but I haven’t been this excited about an idea this early in the game since 2005.) Because if you’re not enthusiastic about the idea, it’s going to be a long, long November.