Ack, totally forgot about IWSG this month! But it’s still Wednesday, so I’m not completely late!
Anyway, my writing has hit an odd snag this month in that I’m still trying to be going strong — wanting to be going strong — on my current project, only it’s near impossible to get comfortable while writing. It’s the summer weather building up on me over time or something. 😦 I hate it. I cannot wait for the cold weather to move in!
So…besides that…um…well, I have an idea of my project for this year’s NaNo novel.
It’s not fleshed out yet (well, it is only September, after all), but it’s going to be space fantasy. The main way I came to this decision is that I’ve been watching the Netflix seasons of Mystery Science Theater 3000 lately, and there’s a line from one of the bots during Starcrash about how it would have seemed amazing if it had come out before Star Wars instead of after it. (Which is not true, of course, because that was an awful movie and would have seemed like an awful movie regardless, but…) It made me think about how there really has been a trend (more in visual media than print media, of course) to make any fusion of science fiction and the mystical into a Star Wars rip-off, or at least heavily influenced by same.
So, I thought “I want to write a space fantasy that has no Star Wars influence at all.” (Admittedly, Star Wars is properly more of a science fantasy than a space fantasy, but…same diff to most people.)
From there, I quickly came up with the most core concept of my heroine. Which is to say her name, and the fact that she’s a wizard in the traditional Earth sense, who happens to operate in space.
Then, from a comment my brother made this Monday, just joking around, I came up with a slight aspect of the story, just a funky species with an absurd power. (And I’m not actually going to use it quite the way he intended. Sorry, bro.)
But the question is, where do I get the rest? Since, after all, things like deeply developed characters, plot beyond the most basic premise, and the more basic aspects of setting are all my weaknesses. (OMG, do I have anything I’m not weak on? Other than sometimes enthusiasm?)
Well, one thing I thought of in terms of world-building is that to really distinguish my space fantasy from Star Wars, I need to use a very well defined magic system, and to make it easier, I’m probably going to crib off of Dungeons & Dragons (though I’ll have to look up its rules first, lol) and create a system very similar to that one.
From there, I realized what I wanted to do to help me create the missing preparatory elements of my story.
A while back (like long enough ago that it’s been fulfilled already), I backed a Kickstarter to create a book called Querent, which is a tool to create story elements using tarot cards. The intended purpose of the tool is to help people create new scenarios, characters, etc., for their tabletop RPG sessions, but they did say that it should work just as well for people just plain writing stories. (I feel like I may have mentioned it here before, but I can’t be sure…)
So, I’m gonna use it to work up the rest of the basic plot, characters and world-building for my NaNo novel and see what happens.
Worst case scenario, either I don’t come up with anything workable by November and just utterly wing it, or I write garbage and then ignore it once November is over. (Both of these have, after all, happened in the past.) And if it’s just not working during November, I have various fan fiction plots waiting that I could write instead. It’s not cheating to change projects mid-month, right?