Wooo! So, our Professors are encouraging my class of budding writers to start a blog. I have achieved this. Level up+1 for me! They have also suggested that we blog about how we handle each day of NaNoWriMo. I probably won’t do every day. Jus’ sayin’.
What is NaNoWriMo? It stands for: Nation Novel Writing Month. What do you do? Write 50,000 words in 30 days. Doesn’t that sound like fun? I agree (Yes or No, I agree).
I’ve had my novel planned for quite a while; since the end of September to be exact. The story came to me in a dream. No it really did. I had this acid trip of dream. There was time travel, demons, a psycho Priestess, a guy called Frederick, a Chinese girl, nuclear bombs, a prophecy, death by hanging, epic love and Cernunnos knows what else I’ll add to it this coming month.
The day started pretty hopefully. Classes are cancelled because the third years are graduating this week, so I spent that hour with William and Rory who provided great entertainment. Both of them are book worthy. I sit right in from of them and simply write down anything marvellous they say. A few quips:
Rory: I’m not little. I’m 6”2’!
William: …You’re little in mentality.
Me: William doesn’t look gay, he looks smart.
Rory: Old before his time. I’ve got the student look going for me.
William: Just because you look like a wreck, doesn’t mean the rest of us have to join you.
I’ll give you more in another blog perhaps. Anyway, met with my cousin, Mitch, and Professor Sarah and we set out to start. Twenty-five minutes later and I had only 175 words down. I got distracted trying to think of a decent name for one of the characters.
By-the-by, my characters ended up holding their secret meeting of awesome in the ruins of King Arthur’s castle. No questions. Mummy’s drunk (on caffeine I hasten to add).
Soon enough, Mitch and I trudged home but I still could not write until I had found a bloody name for this one bloody character. I tried typing ‘awesome male names’ into Google but the results were pretty shit. Next I tried ‘fantasy male names’ and found a rather wonderous website. It has an abundance of amazing names and for the next hour I was absorbed in reading the histories behind ‘Celtic names for cats’ and ‘Roman Cat names’.
The result of this was: my story will have Celtic and Roman gods within it. The Celtic goddess Coventina sounds adorable. She is the goddess of waters and springs and is said to travel the rivers and lakes upon a leaf boat. Isn’t that cute?!
Anyway, I found a name for my elusive unimportant character and the words started to kind-of flow. The main male character and his friends are demons. They are the only demons of their race that can time-travel. Now, a friend raised a very good question not long ago: ‘How do they time-travel?’ which I hadn’t thought about. Thinking about it today, I knew it couldn’t be non-consequential because A) that’s not fun and B) they’d be prancing around all over the place if there were no consequences.
The result: they have to slash their hand with a boline and then fling slashed-hand so the blood sprinkles on the floor. Next, they must close their eyes and think of the desired time and place… And then when they do the ‘travelling’ part they pretty much have an orgasm.
As I was poking at the NaNoWriMo site, I knew I needed to give my novel a working title at least. To get said ‘working title’ I poked at the pictures I have been accumulating as my inspiration. Most of the picture titles were either really cliché, dull or nonsensical; until I found one called ‘Drown in a Bottle’. Now, that’s quite a cool title in my opinion. So I stole it. Then I thought, ‘it needs something more’. So I added ‘of Keys’ to the end after seeing one picture of a girl swimming in keys. I have some weird pictures.
Despite how hash NaNo novels are allowed to be, I’ve uberly been concentrating on not using adverbs in prose. Besides, if you properly think about the action and don’t use adverbs, it totally boosts the word count. I hope Professor Sarah will be proud.
I won’t harp on any longer. To wrap this up: my eventually-named-unimportant-character, Mercury, got stabbed with a pitch-fork by the end of the chapter. I like him though, so he probably won’t die yet. NaNo is going good. I’ve met the word count for today, now I’m going to see what the gang does with a bleeding comrade. Time for another bowl of coffee.
EXTRACT IN ALL IT’S NANO GLORY:
“That is the Page of Advice, written by the Saviour. She gave it to me for safe-keeping, but it needs to go to you now so that you can go back in time and save her.” The intruder stood up again. “Don’t look so surprised, Hardor. You wanted this. I’m handing it to you on a platter.”
Frederick noticed that Hardor’s hand was shaking. He tightened his grip on his revolver and Hardor began to read the page aloud. Mercury joined them now, glancing at the paper too.
“Hey,” Charles started, “there are two sentences missing. The bottom has been ripped off.” But the intruder had nothing more to say. He had returned to the centre of the table. “Frederick,” he said. A boline knife was in his hand and his other was raised; ready.
“Yes?” said Frederick.
“Trust your instincts.”
None of them knew what to say, unsure what he was doing.
He slashed a shallow cut in his hand and as soon as he flicked his blood across the table, they shouted for him to stop. Mercury leapt onto the table and dived at him, but the stranger vanished, and so Mercury sailed through the air and clattered off the other side of the table.
“What did he mean?” asked Charles. Frederick shook his head.
Mercury stumbled to his feet, groaning in pain. “What does it bloody matter what he bloody meant?” he said. “How do we even know that scrap of paper is the real thing; it’s written in pencil for Minerva’s sake!”
With a jerk of his head, Frederick tutted. “Go back to licking your wounds, Mercury.”
“I’ll give you-” He stopped himself, biting hard on his tongue, and Charles made a cooing noise.
A distant cry made each demon freeze. For a moment, nothing but the wind could be heard. Then again came the angry shout. A layer of sound. More than one voice.
“Humans,” breathed Charles.
‘I heard the screech this way!’ they heard one human say.
“Let’s go,” said Hardor striding around the table, unable to stand still. “Let us save the Saviour. We’ll go back one-hundred and ninty years; five years before she was killed.”
“Hardor you’re crazy,” whispered Frederick.
“Do you want to kill those approaching humans then, or shall I?”
Frederick shuddered and replaced his revolver. He had shed so much blood during the course of his life that he worried he was becoming immune to the act. Plus, blood was never easy to wash out of clothes. The smell lingered on his fingers for days and his dreams were terrifying for weeks.
“I haven’t eaten in a long time,” said Charles.
“Exactly,” said Hardor, “we’re not as strong as we should be. Either we die or they die but neither result is a win.”
“Yes, yes,” groaned Mercury, removing his boline again. “Can we just go already? Where are we travelling to?”
A nostalgic urge swelled up in Frederick and he hoped without reason that Hardor would say Germany. He had not been home for many centuries.
“The year two-thousand and ten, England, Atwoodshire.”
Frederick sighed, removed his boline and slashed his hand as humans began to rush into the room with homemade shotguns and flames. He closed his eyes and thought of the time and the place, sprinkling his blood on the floor. At once, Frederick felt as if he was flying. His head was light with pleasure, heat was rushing through his veins and his breath was hard to catch.
As always, the folds of time began to roar against his ears with a sensation that he was falling. Still tingling with pleasure however, Frederick’s feet pounded against solid earth and sent a terrible shock through his system. He collapsed to the floor and rolled a few metres away from where he had landed; gasping, swollen and dazed.
There were similar sounds of ‘oof!’ soon around him. The sun was shining here. A cry of pain made him focus harder. Trees, lots of trees; the smell of summer. His eyesight returned in full and Frederick felt his skin crawl at the sight of Mercury writhing in the forest debris.
“Merc!” he cried and scrabbled to his feet. Blood was splurging from between the man’s fingers, his hands pressed hard against his side.