Here’s the problem.
This story was supposed to be “just a bit of fun”. But much like Bilbo, I failed to understand just how serious the situation was until I actually sat down to write this thing, and the first thing I put into writing was the angsty core of the premise, complete with a comment in the margins about some casual sexism I’d managed to normalise within the first 300 words.
A fantastic start.
UGH look I know first drafts are meant to be bad. I know it, and I keep saying it, and I do mean it. It’s something I want everybody to bear in mind so that they can feel liberated and just get the goddamn thing written. But this particular issue really tripped me up, because sexism and the double standards of gender roles is the exact thing I want to address and deconstruct and critique with this story, not to reinforce it in a seductive I’m-totally-on-your-side Trojan package. And the worst part was that I really, seriously did not intend to do it, and nevertheless it was exactly what I did. So this was not quite the glorious, fun-filled escapist start to this project that I was hoping for. If anything it’s been fast-tracked into having just as many, if not more, issues than Tallulah, which is the whole reason I’m writing this thing to begin with in order to chill out and do something less serious that I don’t have to think very hard about and just indulge and enjoy myself and and and ugh.
Thus, I return to Writing While Writing, where I write while I write about what I’m writing while I’m writing it and it usually works, for some reason, and no I don’t really want to question it too much because I want it to keep working.
Today’s plan: write this fucking chapter. It’s not the first chapter, so I’m also experimenting with writing out-of-order for the first time, at least in any serious writing-process capacity. Let’s see if I can’t just have fun, which was the entire point of my doing Nanowrimo to begin with.
Fuck it let’s just write it in order. Do what works.
Well, I just learnt how to do a dropped capital initial for an opening paragraph. I am a real writer now.
Starting at the beginning helped; I even got to recycle a teensy bit of the very first draft I wrote of this story, back when it was an entirely different and utterly unrecognisable version of this story, also the first draft of a novel I ever wrote.
It’s starting to hit me just how unsettled the worldbuilding in this story is. Oh well; here’s my chance to do whatever I fucking feel like and then worry about making sense of it all later on.
Trying to find a fancy High Fantasy way of saying “giraffe”. I settled on Cervicotherium, which hopefully means “neck animal”, before realising that I’d let myself off the hook with “wolf” and therefore had no business going out of my way for “giraffe” if I wasn’t going to do the same thing there.
One day I will do some actual worldbuilding in my fantasy world, but for not I cannot be arsed.
422 words in! Not doing too badly.
Goddammit, these names I gave my characters when I was 15 years old and thought sounded like awesome fantasy names turn out to be actual fucking names! What gives? I am so not down with this!
They are specifically names that are from cultures other than my own, and I did not know this, and I don’t want to be guilty of cultural appropriation as well as sexism so just argh fuck it all I’m going to have to fucking rename everybody aren’t I.
YOU’RE SUPPOED TO BE A FIRST DRAFT STOP MAKING ME CARE
Did I just write a Sailor Moon Magical Girl Transformation Sequence? I fucking hope not.
Or maybe I hope I did, actually. I don’t know. I’ll decide when I read it later.
Okay, 662 words. It’s a nice solid start, at long last. I mean I said I was going to start Nano, what, 9 days ago? At least it’s not 10.
And yes the worldbuilding is really lax and I feel really uncomfortable writing stuff that needs detail without knowing the details, but I also don’t have time. I just need to get it written. I can consolidate later. High Fantasy is not my genre.
One may well ask why I’m writing High Fantasy if it’s not my genre, and the answer is because I fucking want to.
662. Here’s to tomorrow’s word count, whatever it might be.