If there is one thing I become ceaselessly, brilliantly good at during the month of November, it is procrastination. I do wonder if some of it isn't burn-out, because I do try to write almost every day and I tend to start at nine in the morning and not stop until I go to bed at one the following morning, but it's not constant writing. I stop and start and while some days I will produce words upon words, several days this month I just...haven't.
Still, the official wordcount of NaNo is well over 130k, and Kaverlen Falls is just slightly under 30k, so if I keep on keeping on I should hit the 50k for that alone before the 30th. I've produced a lot this month, even if it's not entirely what I wanted it to be. (The Juniper Bones just isn't going to be finished this year either. ...balls.) I finally finished the story I was arsing about with as a prequel to Kaverlen Falls, too; it hasn't got a proper name but I call it Blood Still For Blood and it's about 7k. It was intended just as a Lovecraftian mockery of sparkly vampires, but it's...a bit more interesting than that, now. And naturally I wrote the disturbing end of it to the tune of the Amnesia OST. I am pure class, of course.
I've written somewhere near 5k so far today and once I finish this entry I really am going to go and sort out the writing for today, because it's been patchy as all get out. Mostly this is just because the other day I was hunting something out in my terribly disordered Documents folder, and I was reminded again of a sprawling story an old friend and I were writing in various forms from the age of sixteen until we were both about twenty-two (which was about the point we stopped speaking to each other). As you can imagine, characters who have been in your head that long...just don't ever go away. The air you breathe is full of ghosts, as one of my favourite song-titles puts it, and when I started watching/reading George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire epic I was pushed right back into the waiting arms of these ghosts. My co-author was very, very influenced by Martin in her writing of our story; having never read any of his work, I didn't realise how deeply until I myself starting reading A Game of Thrones. And...while I am enjoying Martin's story on its own merits, it reminds me terribly of the story I had been writing all those years ago with my friend, and the last couple of days I've been procrastinating by rereading it.
It's a huge amount of text -- the story itself, which wasn't even a third done when we quit, is well over 300k. This does not include the files filled with character sketches and half-written snippets; those would be somewhere in the region of 200k, I would imagine. And again, this doesn't account for the story this was all based upon; I wouldn't be surprised to find that was about another 500k of text in the form of the main story (which was further along before we switched it with the new version) and a huge collection of supplementary material. I also have a good deal of pictures both by myself and by some talented friends who shared in our world, and...yeah. It's wonderful and nostalgic and sad, and I just can't help myself right at the moment. While my friend was a very plot-driven writer and revelled in the politics of our story, I am and always will be the character author. I loved these characters. I still do. This is why I write; it's for the people who live the stories. And it's been so long since I really thought about this incredibly diverse cast of characters for any length of time. And believe me, there were a lot of them. I can't even hazard a guess at how many major characters there were, but fifty would be a ballpark figure. I just...yeah.
There are likely worse ways to procrastinate, as I am learning one thing -- I have vastly improved as a writer since I worked on this novel with my dear friend. In fact, working with her vastly improved me as a writer anyway, but even now I can see how I've moved on from some of my worst habits. I've also learned the difference between trope and beloved cliché, and it's all...well. I don't know. I have all sorts of FEELINGS about this that I'm not really up for articulating. Maybe once I get to the end of what she wrote I'll be better able to explain it, but for now...I think I've spent enough time reading today. I should be writing.
Still. As I was flipping through various files, I found a drabble collection. I felt like sharing one, jsut because these two characters...I always did wonder what would happen to them. I have the vague niggling feeling I might just write something about them in the weeks before Christmas, once I am done with the insanity of NaNoWriMo. But they always fascinated me. In the novel, Gaia is the eleven year old daughter of a recently widowed and deposed emperor, wheras Lais is the thirty-five year old son of the Regent in the North, a cold and pitiless Old Monster who has lived well beyond his alloted lifespan because he is waiting for his beloved to be reborn to him (she's being contrary about it, and rightly so; in the slightly misappropriated words of Tyrion Lannister about his own sire: "Everyone everywhere always has to do exactly what my father says...he's always been a cunt."). Lais is originally at the imperial palace as an envoy of his father, and is unusually gregarious considering his dread family; Gaia is a very reserved and retiring girl who lives in the shadow of her elder and more highly-born half-sister. There springs up a very unusual and rather sweet friendship between the two of them which was destined to be sorely tried by the opposing agendas of their respective families, and somehow we ended up thinking they were meant to be together despite the huge age difference. With that said Lais comes of a stock with deeply unusual longevity -- I don't know how old his father is, but let's say at least two hundred; I also think one of Lais's younger nephews is about twenty years his senior alone -- and it could have worked. Perhaps. But they were just so sweet together, when the world wasn't being a bastard at them, and when I found this drabble I wrote back in 2003 or 2004 or something...it brought it back.
I so very rarely write fluff. So, let's have some fluff before I go back to making life hell for some other poor characters, shall we? ^_~
Incidentally, from the song title I can but assume I was listening to this song as I wrote it. There are so many memories to be found in music. I think it's time to go back to the old playlists.