This year’s NaNoWriMo undertaking will be a story idea I’ve had for the longest time, but I’ve never started because it wasn’t the “right time”, whatever that is.
You see, I’ve been plagued with “not-the-right-time-itis”, as well as “I-think-I’m-the-best-thing-since-sliced-bread-itis”. I will always feel like I need more research and practice before I write “my masterpiece”.
Uh, wake up, Angela. It’s not even done yet. How in the world will it be anywhere near a masterpiece?! You don’t even know if the idea is interesting!
So I decided I’d whack myself over the head, laugh heartily at my stupidity and ignorance, and sit down and write the damn thing badly. At least, at the end of NaNo, I will have 50,000+ words of crap and I can either finally trash the idea, or if it’s actually usable (:O!!), start the manuscript massacre.
It’s an almost-alternate-reality slightly-historical fiction novel, based on an event in early Philippine history: Ferdinand Magellan’s arrival in the Philippines, and Lapu-lapu’s battle against him. Lapu-lapu is hailed as the first hero of the country, that Magellan was the enemy, that Humabon was a traitor. But were they really what they seemed to be? We know of Magellan, Lapu-lapu, Humabon, Pigafetta. But there are so many other people then. Did all of them think the same?
Hence my story was born. Slightly historical, but I don’t want it to be: I don’t have enough research, I don’t even speak Cebuano (though my mother is an Ilongga). Since I like reading and writing fantasy, I’ll weave some elements in, give it a sense of magical realism. Something with the feel of Arlene J. Chai’s Eating Fire and Drinking Water, which I think is brilliant, chilling, amazing.
Too many things to do, so little time.
Yes, there are far too many things to do to prefer for NaNo. I’ll have to wing most of it, but some things I want to look into:
- Create a language – I want to further remove the setting from strict historical fiction to a looser one, hence the differing language. It will remain similar to Filipino (Tagalog dialect, although theoretically this should be Cebuano), with some similar words.
- Re-read Eating Fire and Drinking Water for a refresh, as well as other magical realism novels, depending on time. My “writing voice” is easily swayed by books I am currently reading, so I should be very careful if I read other books with differing styles.
- Flesh out the characters a bit more, put down some notes in writing.
- Sort through older research work on folk tales – I did a fair bit of research earlier on some folk tales, but have dumped all of these into flat files with no real organization to them. I need to pinpoint ones that I need to look into, again.
I have my work cut out for me, but I should just barrel ahead, whatever preparation (or lack of preparation) I’ve had.