NaNoWriMo 2016

It’s almost that time of the year, again–a year in which my creative productivity was virtually non-existent. Part of that was due to long work hours during the summer, but that excuse only gets me so far.

I was–am–uninspired. Bored. Every day, I have the itch to write. Yet, I don’t. Not sure where to go with whatever loose thread of plot I’m hanging on to. Not convinced with the epicness of any given idea. Simply terrible, nothing got me to pursue writing at all. Even tried the random world building exercise again, which I used to write Honeymoon, but with little inspiration. Just couldn’t nail down a setting I felt was worth exploring, making the initial effort seem like a one-in-a-million shot in the dark.

Hell, even editing any of my WiP just wasn’t in the cards.

Not that I didn’t do anything. I dabbled a bit in music production, messing around with vocal covers of some of my favourite metal songs (with what little equipment I can afford). That’s fun and all, but I should be focusing on the things I actually have a shot at driving into a carreer.

But enough with the whining: November is getting close. November means writing something new. Starting over. Just fucking doing it.

Of course, one of the main problems still remains: What to write?

Over the last year or so, I’ve been mulling over three potential stories, each taking some shape in my head, some even in the form of words on paper.

First, there was this idea for a Thriller. Initially slated as a 3-part novella type of idea, it was meant to explore life in a small town with a dark secret. A cult with all the cultish type of things. It was also going to be told over the span of a decade or two, switching to different characters whenever there would be larger jump in time (several years). While I already wrote good junk of the first chapter, I sort of, kind of, lost ambition. My initial idea for the first character’s subplot felt forced, and I quickly lost sight of where I was trying to go with all of this (or I never really knew). That type of thriller requires a lot of plotting–at least for me. And that’s where my motiviation fell flat this year. There were a lot of points I wanted to hit, but I wasn’t able to connect the dots.

My next idea was an Epic Fantasy story, set in a fantastical version of Europe, with magic and dwarfs and elves, and all the other tropes, but with some twisst and original ideas. I really liked the main character for that one–a retired warrior guild veteran–but couldn’t see the thread going through the overall plot, either. Again, I had some world building done, and tried to connect the dots, but failed.

See a pattern emerge here, regarding my planing, pl0tting?

Lastly, another fantasy idea, but this time with a dark tone. A story following an undead warrior, roaming the lands for centuries. He offers his services to anyone willing to pay as bounty hunter, mercenary, sellsword. A setting inspired by both the Dark Souls series, as well as the Witcher. For this plot, I have the least amount of pre-concieved “must do,” making it a bit easier to just delve in and write about the characters adventures, which may just be stand alone stories, but may or may not tie into a larger plot later on. All I knew was the endgame of the character, their eventual personal goal. Anything up to that point was open to pants as I go.

…which is why I more than likely will explore the last story for my 2016 NaNoWriMo project.

So, here’s what I got so far:

Áleifr was a loyal warrior to his clan, storming into battle when war came to the southern border of his homeland. The battle was over quickly, and the warrior and his comrades fell in glory, however lost their efforts.

Their enemy, a wizard corrupted by the dark arts, was not done with the fallen, yet. And so he summoned them back as undead servants, so he may spread his war even further across the continent.

Decades later, the necromancer was finally defeated, and his undead servants found their eternal peace at last.

All but Áleifr, that is. He was denied his final death, cursing him to roam the lands for centuries to come. The lands now have changed, an uneasy peace has settled over many parts of the continent. Yet, dangers still threaten the ignorant folk; monsters and men with dark hearts alike.

Áleifr spends his undead existence as sellsword—mercenary and bounty hunter to those willing to pay his fee to rid themselves of monsters lurking in the dark, corrupt leaders, annoying enemies. Yet, while he acts as tough, carefree sword for hire, Áleifr’s true intention is to find a sorcerer, a wizard, even a amateur, which still tries themselves in the dark arts—magic long since forgotten—so he might finally find a way to rid himself of this accursed existence.

In his travels, he’ll find an unlikely companion in a rather unusual type of witch, which is all to eager to help Áleifr to find the answers to his dreaded unlife—and not without a personal interest in the promise of unearthing forgotten magic.

Where all or any of this is going to lead, I don’t know. I’m hoping to find some time to prepare more before the month is out, so I have at least a rough road map to go with. Plotting and brainstorming would also be a good exercise in returning to the blog, maybe reconnecting with a few people that used to stop by here once in a while.

Anyone else doing the NaNo thing this year? Let me know, link me to your personal space if you’re talking about it. Let’s connect and share, maybe help inspire each other.

–Stefan

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