125. NaNoWriMo: The End of the Road

Wow, that was exhausting.

(I stopped keeping track of the post numbers after it hit 3 digits. Having to keep track of both the post number AND which day of November it was? Not really fun. Now I have to refer back to the front page of the blog whenever I create a new post)

(I stopped proofreading a lot further back)

So that was that for NaNoWriMo 2013. In total, I have written a little over 20,000 words of the Swordsman’s story, and only a little more than 24 hours has passed within the universe of the narrative. What’s next for the Swordsman and Rayna? Will they find their way out of the desert? Who fired the bullet that saved Rayna? What happened to Damien and Sonny?

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know, but let me just say that their fates have yet to be set into the narration. Between today and the day that I decide to continue writing the Swordsman’s tale (which might be anywhere from tonight to five years down the road), I might change my mind, or I might not.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

It is true that art imitates life, whether intentionally or not. As I looked back on the journey yesterday afternoon, I could see parallels between my writing experience and the things that the characters were going through:

The entire plot of the chapter titled “The Desert” (the first 6,000 words or so) was laid out much earlier this year, sometime between April and May, for a comic book script. The process of translating the script into a narrative took me all of the first 8 days of November, and it was easy sailing – I knew exactly what was supposed to happen and where, and Past-Me had already worked out the pacing of the events that they would unfold at a good speed.

In that chapter, the Swordsman was led from action to action – from breaking out of his cage, to subduing his captors, to eliminating his enemies, and finally to warming up and making a new friend in Rayna. Everything was exciting, and everything more or less went according to plan – as it was with the writing process.

The moment I hit the second chapter titled “Zheng He’s Ship” on day 9, I found myself lost in the impossibly vast world that I have created for my characters. I wasn’t sure about what to do with them, and the only thing I knew was that I should get them to the nearest major city.

So off to Hong Kong they went… And then they and I both ran out of fuel.

The latter half of November had me writing, more often than not, in the middle of the night. I would open up the word file at about 10P.M., and stare at the screen, procrastinate via facebook, twitter, YouTube etc., and only come around to forcing myself to at least write something before I head to bed at 2A.M. It was a dry, tedious, uninspired toil; and the Swordsman and Rayna shared in my misery by having to ride out into the blisteringly hot desert.

I have no doubts that if I picked up the story and continued its writing, I’ll inevitably have to drag myself and our two heroes out of the desert and into Hong Kong; and God only knows how long it would be until they have resolved all they need to resolve in the desert before moving on.

Art imitates life; and then life imitates art.

Here at the end of the road, I release the Swordsman – temporarily, at least – from my diabolical imagination; and in turn, he releases me from his world that is full of dryness and difficulty.

Until we meet again.


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