It’s already November 2 here in Melbourne, Australia, which means it’s day 2 of NaNoWriMo. Here’s a little recap on how Day 1 panned out.
Day 1 coincided with a public holiday, the Melbourne Cup (a two-mile / 3200 m Thoroughbred horse race held on the first Tuesday of November every year since 1861) but since I started learning about the animal welfare issues surrounding racing in Australia I don’t really follow it anymore. I used to be obsessed with horse racing, but these days my conscience nags at me to the extent I laid it aside. Instead, we took the opportunity to finally get around to watching the Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix – and wow, what a dramatic race that was!
By the end of Nano Day 1 I had 2,035 / 50,000 words and so far, so good. I don’t hate my story, which is a relief. I am writing what I guess falls somewhere between sci fi and fantasy. It starts out with a young woman, a character I’ve named Chloe, who lives in a rural town. Quite frankly it resonates a lot with my own life when I was a young adult going out of my mind, depressed, lonely, and watching my friends go on to do great things with their lives while I felt stuck in a dead-end life and it seemed to me that some of the people around me didn’t want me to get an education and forge my own path in life. The difference is that where my life still more or less panned out to nothing particularly special, my character finds herself in the midst of a series of paranormal events that lead to her eventual escape from not only her town, but the whole planet. And while I don’t want to give too much away, her saviour Orion – who she at first mistakes for an elvish being (I’ll be writing that chapter today) harbours a heap of secrets. Is he a good guy or not? Oooh… I don’t even know how it’ll pan out until I’ve written it. I think he’s conflicted, but dangerous. Thing is, maybe Chloe is, too – she just hasn’t yet discovered that about herself.
Is it an escapist fantasy? Probably. But you know what? I don’t personally read books to be reminded how mundane and pointless real life is. I prefer to read stories where people, or anthropomorphic animals, find themselves thrust into a space full of mysteries, new discoveries, the revelation of innate strengths, the challenges of being handed immense power, ethical quandaries, survival in strange environments. Magic, myth, and self-reliance is far more interesting to me than being a cog in the societal machine of Western capitalism.