So, for NaNoWriMo this year I thought to myself, I COULD do final edits on Memories of What Never Was... or I could take a month off from that to keep from going insane and ending up on the news running through downtown in my skivvies with my pants on my head serenading parking meters like I was in some sort of musical, but in real life. So I looked at what I wrote last year for NaNo, the, as yet, still incomplete first draft of the second book to Memories, and decided that I still needed to hash out a few things in my head on that one before I pick it up again. I didn't really have anything on the back burner that was ready to go, so I toyed with the idea of just, you know, not participating in NaNo this year. It can be stressful, and god knows I don't need any more stress in my life. I mean, do you know what it's like to be 40, unmarried, and have a mother who physically NEEDS grandchildren, while also trying not to keel over during one of the most intensive times of the year at work? It's like I'm sitting in a flippin' pressure cooker 24/7. But I couldn't do that. It would break my 7 year streak of finishing NaNo every year. So I looked at what I have being stirred by three cryptic witches in a cauldron in the back of my head and pulled up two stories I've been kicking around for the last few years while working on Spires of Infinity and Memories of What Never Was.
One, about a Damsel in Distress that gets kidnapped by the Dark Lord, and then takes over his evil empire because she's more evil than he is, and better at his job, then starts a war with the Great Hero that's trying to rescue and marry her, which I decided not to do, because it still needs some plot points filled in before I start work on it. And another called Carrying the Weight of the World, which is a very complex epic fantasy standalone that is very hard to describe briefly. Allow me to try, and fail, to do so. *ahem* Some dude tore a hole in reality to the realms of the gods and the demons, and all three worlds began to unravel. At first there was a three way war of extermination going on, before they realized that all of reality would unravel if they didn't come together and do something about it quick. So they created this thing called the Balance. An artificial pocket of reality that small parts of their three worlds could escape to, and continue on, while the rest of reality comes apart and ceases to be. The Balance functions by placing rules on the artificial reality, balancing all things. No one can gain power without someone losing it, for someone to be born, someone has to die, for someone to be healthy, someone has to be ill, etc etc etc. Now, 2400 years later, elements in all three of the worlds have decided that the Balance is BS, and they want to cause it to fail and see what happens. Will reality continue on without the Balance keeping it in check, or will everything unravel and cease to be? The Balance must be maintained by an immortal priestess from each of the three worlds in a ceremony every year and a day, but if the ceremony is not performed there is a grace period of a year and a day before the Balance fails, and someone kidnaps the human priestess, while causing a civil war in the human world to distract from what's happening. So we follow a slave girl who inherited a beast god's soul, power, and knowledge who uses her newfound power to build a crime empire for the purpose of destroying the Balance. The kidnapped priestess who is desperate to return to her shrine to save the Balance. The queen's bastard daughter whose birth caused a very costly and bloody rebellion 20 years ago, and a mercenary that she hired to get her the heck away from her crazy mother. And an assassin from an order that upholds the Balance by assassinating those who become too powerful or wealthy so that those who suffer a lowering in status because of it can rise within the Balance. And so beast god slave girl starts a civil war, kidnaps the priestess, and a world that was already butthurt from the rebellion 20 years ago decides that now is a good time to go insane, while the other characters hook up and attempt to get the priestess back to her shrine to save the world. *takes deep breath*
So, yeah, that's the one I chose to start work on for NaNo this year. It's the most complex story I've ever attempted to write with about a dozen different viewpoint characters, a lot of politics, and also incorporates a lot of philosophical and metaphysical ideas about what reality is, and what it means to be human. It's probably the most ambitious story I've ever started, but I've been kicking around ideas that eventually evolved into it for about 15 years now, and I feel that I've gained enough writing experience in the last few years here that I can actually pull it off decently now. Part of the reason I've put it off so long is that I didn't feel I was a good enough writer to properly tell the story, but I think I can handle it now. *crosses fingers*
Anyway, I just barely managed to hit the 50k words for NaNo last night at about 11:55 PM so I made it, but just barely. I still have about a month's worth of work to do on Memories of What Never Was before the final draft is finished, and it's December and I'm a mailman, so that month is not going to be this month. But once I'm done with that, I think I'm pretty well set to continue with Carrying the Weight of the World's first draft.