As I said last month, this year’s NaNo project started out as an AU (alternate universe, for those not acquainted with fanfic terms) fanfic of my favorite movie, Velvet Goldmine. But this wasn’t going to be one of those “serial numbers just barely filed off” projects; I did so little planning before it became an original project that almost nothing about it ever had a connection to the movie. (The movie’s main three male characters were imported, but none of them have much connection to the originals. Cal is the most like his inspiration, Curt Wild, but even he has a lot of differences, given his knowledge of steam-powered airship design, affinity with giant birds of prey and his tragic first love, who is the person he loved most in the world, and who was always totally original. Except that he kind of looks like Ichabod Crane. (From the Disney animated version.) I’m not sure why he looks like that. It just sort of happened.)
So, my reflections on finishing the project: first and foremost, it’s a mess. The point of this first book (in a series of eight, as currently planned) was to get them to learn about the MacGuffin (it doesn’t have a name yet) and get their hands on the book of clues as to where to find the pieces of it. Well, okay, that’s not the whole point, but that’s its role in the bigger story. So part of the process of finding out about it was to find the journal of the dead fiance of one of the main characters. He had been researching the MacGuffin (and was killed over it), and had in turn learned a lot of his information from the journal of a man who lived a thousand years earlier. (Very sturdy paper!) So I kind of had this huge info dump as one of the characters was reading the dead fiance’s journal. I mean, I broke it up over a few days, with other things happening in between, but…not good storytelling. I’m thinking that my first task in a re-write will be to write the entire journal of the man from a thousand years earlier, divide it up into neat little chunks, and stick them at the beginning of each chapter.
But that’s barely scratching the surface of what needs to be done.