Monday, October 7, 2019

Once Upon a Time

With November approaching, I'd been toying with the idea of participating in National Novel Writing Month. Not that I'm sure where I'd find the time. It's hard enough, sometimes, to make sure that I keep this blog updated on the schedule that I'd like. Adding in another 1,700 words a day to fill out a novel over the course of a month likely wouldn't work out all that well. That said, like just about everybody, I suppose, I do have an idea for a novel kicking around inside my head.

The general plotline comes from a discussion I was having with a roommate of mine, some 25 years ago. We'd been watching some or another movie, and the villain's overall goal was to destroy the world. Because they were the villain apparently; there was nothing in the movie that gave any hint as to why destroying the world was a reasonable thing for this character to do. That random act of nihilism rubbed me the wrong way, and I said so. My roommate then challenged me to come up with the sort of character I would like to see.

This started a continuing, if occasional, project to detail out a belief system that would make ending the world understandable, if not exactly rational. It became a religion that believed that the world was an Imperfect place, but that if it were destroyed, it, and everyone on it, would be remade into a Perfect form. As of this point, the document is about 8,000 words. Not terribly long, but it does a pretty decent job of explaining the belief system. Sure, it's a fairly bog-standard "Doomsday Cult" at the end of the day, but I like to think that I've fleshed this one out a bit more completely than is often the case.

In any event, I've been considering taking up the rest of my former roommate's challenge, and writing up an entire story around the idea. When I first came up with the idea, I'd envisioned a story that works somewhat in the reverse of the way such fiction usually does. Rather than the villain putting some dastardly plot in motion, and the heroes attempting to stop them, in this case, the end of the world was already on track to happen, and the heroes were setting out to stop it; so it would be the villain in the reactive role, attempting to preserve the status quo.

The big problem that I would have with such an undertaking is that I lack endurance as a writer. The idea of banging out 50,000 words makes me tired just thinking about it. Of course, I've likely managed more than that with this blog, but it's coming up on thirteen years this December. But then again, 1,700 words a day isn't really that much. Maybe one of these days, I'll get it into my head to space it out over the course of a year; a day or two of writing a week could be manageable.

In the mean time, I'll stick to quietly envying those people who can actually come up with a whole book during NaNoWriMo.

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