Camp NaNo in April didn’t go so well. In fact, I haven’t done so well on my writing for a while. I’ve been trying to move ahead with “quick fix” projects, the ones that on the surface don’t look like they require as much time and effort and therefore would be ready for the Agent Auction House sooner. I seem to have creatively shot myself in the foot trying to take these shortcuts. I made the mistake of getting caught up in the idea of production, of “being productive” and just pouring out words. And there is a time and a place for that. But I’ve been wallowing in these isolated shallow pools for a long while now, not willing to take that step back into the ocean.
Week 3 of National Novel Writing Month has begun, and, as always around this time, I’m feeling kind of wrung out with the entire enterprise. Buckling down and pounding out words for a rough draft isn’t exactly new for me. I can’t say that it’s always been easy, but it can be done. I know because I’ve done it before. I did it for (most of) Ravens and Roses, the first book in the Mariner Sequence. I did it for my Dark Crystal novel contest entry, “Search of the Sun-Child.” I did it for the fantasy / romance / steampunk / political intrigue hybrid that is Courting the Moon.
“Hail the hero, strong and true, Who fought the fight, and saw it through, Who swore he ne’er would be a slave And gave his life our land to save.”
Do you see it? No? Look at this line then:
“And gave his life our land to save.”
There’s been a subtle shift in the focus of what is being protected in a story. It used to be that the hero was trying to save a land, a world, or a people as a whole rather than being devoted to an individual. They gave everything “for the land.” Often, rulers were tied to the land in some way, either through mystical means (having a literal bond with the earth) or through responsibility as a prince or princess, a king or queen.