Oops. I got distracted.
I joined NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org) on November 11th, 2007. I knew at that point that I wasn’t likely to finish writing 50k words by the end of the month, but I wanted to participate anyway as a means of forcing myself to just write. I had first started thinking and dreaming of my novel in December of 06, and had–to that point–not written anything more than a couple of scenes that I couldn’t quite piece together yet. I was frustrated and uninspired. Participating in NaNoWriMo allowed me to justify setting aside my inner-editor and writing without necessarily trying to make sense of everything. This attempt was titled The Legend of Ae. I ended with just under 12k words, which was an epic failure, but I counted success because it brought several characters and ideas to the surface.
In 2008, I was busy with so many things, but I wanted to participate again and use the NaNoWriMo challenge to focus on some of the history and legend involved in the story. I titled this one The Cave of Seven Mirrors–though the title of the actual document read, “The Great Fall of the Stars”–and reached 21k words before being sucked away by work and life. Another tragic failure, but I came away a lot of material that I needed for the novel. So again, a failure in the challenge, but a success in the process.
This year, I have all but abandoned the novel. Every once in awhile, a piece of it stumbles upon me or a character wakes me from my dreams, but mostly, I have avoided the novel because it has confused me so greatly. But here I am with a ton of free time on my hands! I cannot justify not reaching 50k words this NaNo. So I am trying to decide what I will write this year. I’m tossing around a couple of ideas. My initial idea was to write one particular moment in the history of Oae. For the sake of playing along with the other NaNo-ers on the website, I went this direction:
I have to admit, though – I’m not convinced this is the right way to go. I haven’t entirely decided, but I am fairly certain that Wicket Lake is not the place where Suk and Sorhe abandon their positions. It might be. It doesn’t matter. The point is, this story–again–is a past moment in the history of Oae, and I don’t think I want to work in that direction.
Last night I sat straight up in bed at 4:30-ish, turned on the light, and began writing down some questions:
- What would Oae look like in the future?
- What happens when the power of the Ilonies fails?
- Have the Ilonies abandoned the people of Oae altogether?
- If the rule of Komae is tied with the power and presence of the Ilonies, what becomes of the country (and the neighboring countries) if the Ilonies have fled?
And that’s when it struck me. Wicket Lake is a place of calling and prophecy. It is a place of words and stones and seeing. In a failing country, where the ruling powers have dwindled, several people would rise and try to seize power, but the people would not be so far removed as to abandon all of the old ways at one moment. That is the direction this story needs to take. So here is my new cover art. Don’t mock my lack of artistic/paint skills.
Any thoughts, anybody? I’d love to hear them.