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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

NanoWriMo Progress Report (Day 7)

After working on my Shakespeare assignment for days and submitting it (the lecturer seemingly loved it) I am now returning my attention to Nano-ing. Unfortunately, the three day break had broken my rhythm, and I found myself having more and more doubts while writing today's part. It's not actually writer's block, more like myself questioning whether what I'm write is really good enough, or is it going to suck?

I did write a little. I have 6345 words now, meaning that I've added nearly 800+ words from before. But I am still 8000 words behind. Which is kinda bad. Think I'll need to have some caffiene-aided writing sessions.

My novel is a tricky one to write. Yes, the settings is a fusion of sci-fi and fantasy, not the typical D & D bullshit, nor another Middle-Earth rip-off, but the approach I have may make things more difficult for me now. Instead of adopting a typical 'quest'-like plot, or a 'getting involved in war for fate of the world' plot, which has a seemingly everyday guy discovering he is the CHOSEN ONE and that he has to either go for a quest to defeat this evil overlord, or realizing that he's the CHOSEN ONE and that only HE can lead an army against the forces of evil led by this evil overlord, my story currently adopts a more languid approach, one is more like a madcap romantic comedy while the other is a slow character exploration/ coming of age tale. The former was easy to write, the latter is giving me fits.

After speaking to couple of people on MSN, once again, more for articulating my own ideas in my own mind than really listening to suggestions, I decide to watch Ridley Scott's 1985 fantasy film starring Tom Cruise (borrowed from the library), hoping for some inspiration. It's a fantastic film, pretty awe-inspiring, actually. But nah, didn't really help me much.

Thus I put decide to do a short meditation, tapping into the mind of my protagonist, imagining myself as him (instead of a mere character named after me, and have my characteristics). I asked myself, if I were that Eliar character, why the hell would I be doing this, and that, and coming to a place like this, at the beginning of the novel. Pretty useful method, got some answers. Gonna continue writing. Here's an excerpt, just one, since I didn't write much.

There was a grand victory parade where legions of Shadar Dragoons and their enormous battle robots marched impressively through the streets of Alexid, amidst deafening cheers, celebrating their latest triumph in the war. Men on horses led the procession, then cars, followed by huge lumbering mechanical mammoths (they were called ‘battle tanks’, Eliar overheard). The gigantic battle robots were at least twenty feet tall, each single step they took shook the ground. When they passed by, Eliar could finally see them clearly. A huge bald man was leading the parade on a magnificent black stallion, he could have been seven feet tall, if not more, his face devoid of any emotion as he stared forward at the Imperial Palace, which was where they were all heading towards.

The other horse riders following the man closely were… children?

“Are those kids prisoners of war?” Eliar wondered aloud.

“Prisoners of war? Gods, no!” A woman standing next to Eliar laughed. “They are the Dinalach. War wizards and seers who are assigned to assist General McDowell, even though he doesn’t really trust them though, being magic-users and all. But then, they have been tampered with by our scientists.”

“Tampered with. How?”

“I have no idea, but I know these children are loyal to the Empire, and probably more powerful than any other normal, natural-born mages.”

The words ‘normal, natural-born mages’ were spoken with so much malice that Eliar almost wanted to flinch.

The Wikipedia is a bloody addictive place, I usually find myself stuck there reading about all kinds of stuff whenever I was doing some researches (... a check on Antony, Cleopatra and Julius Caesar's backgrounds to test the accuracies of Shakespeare's plays led me to read about the numerous dynasties before the fall of the Roman Empire for hours!) Anyway, here's the, er, evil version of Wikipedia called Encyclopedia Dramatica. Info about what it really is can be found here.