Words Before Worlds (1/3)

Welcome to the uncoordinated posting of the world/plot/story-building for my 2017 NaNoWriMo Novel! In which, the Writer, her Muse, and various Fictives (characters) attempt to make some sort of plan for November.

You have been warned…

Post Wordcount: 825
Total Wordcount: 825

NOTE: This is a MuseFic in which the Writer, the Muse, and her fictives work to create the rough draft of a story (or just worldbuild). There will be spoilers for the story being drafted, which will most likely contain plot holes, retcons, and other inconsistencies.

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Begin From the Beginning

The Writer walked in from the story mists, yawning and attempting to shoo away the plot bunnies that charged her from their nest under the writing desk. She collapsed into the chair and stared bleakly at the desk which was covered with notes and rough drafts from a dozen previous NaNos.

“I don’t suppose I can take a raincheck on November?” She asked hopefully.

The plot bunnies glared at her.

“Guess that’s a no.” The Writer sighed and started to try and organized the chaos enough to work. The story mists reluctantly retreated from the faux-living room and slowly revealed the comfy chair and the interdimensional sofa. It took some stern looks to get it to fall back far enough to get to the massive story-planning whiteboard to appear.

Which was blank.


“Please tell me it’s not October already.” The Muse was buried in the safety of a blanket fort and only the light from her tablet gave away her position.

“It is. Now get your imaginative butt out here and help me figure out what the heck we’re writing this year.” The Writer decisively uncapped a blue dry erase marker… and then stood there. “I have no idea what I’m doing.

“As always,” the Muse said with a sigh as she abandoned her nest. “We did soft science fiction with [Placeholder] last year, so it’s time Fantasy I’m guessing?”

The sofa quietly reassembled itself in the background, gulping down the small army of extra cushions it had generated for the fort.

“Meh, Fantasy works. I guess.” The Writer summoned a floating rolodex of her existing fantasy worlds, spinning through them fast enough to make the plot bunnies dizzy. “Everything I’ve got is too unfinished to just start a new story in. I’ll just end up contradicting myself.”

“Retcons are life.” The Muse grabbed a green marker and started doodling out a massive dragon looking out from a forest on the whiteboard. “But we’re doing High Fantasy and dragons.”

“…Okay?” The Writer eyed the dragon. “Good dragons or bad dragons?”

“Benevolent overlords, of course.” In the rolling fields and hills below the dragon there was a generic fantasy village. “Intelligent and ancient, but not immortal.”

“Weird, but I can work with that.” The Writer started adding her own doodles, mildly steampunk’ing up the town.

“Steampunk is not a verb,” objected the Muse as she added the shadow of a vast army off to the west.

“My world, my rules… and we did an invading army with That Don’t Impress Me Much, are we really using it again?”

“Yes, because it’s not actually invading, it’s passing through the area on the way to invade things. Or to go home. I haven’t decided yet.” The Muse added in some up-armored battle rhinoceroses, because reasons.

“So we have a (possibly) misunderstood dragon overlord, a large army, and… a young protagonist of some sort?” The Writer frowned at the board. “I have a sudden desire to make the protagonist a dog.”

The Muse gave her a long, judging look. “Seriously?”

“Well I was thinking that we needed a teenage boy, or girl, who goes off to slay the dragon and then realizes that’s a horrible idea and then the dragon and the kid save the town from the army or something… but, meh, boooooring.” The Writer sketched in a dog, then erased it again. “Okay, yeah the dog it probably a bad idea, but still.”

“We could have a girl who goes up to poison the dragon and gets turned into a dog,” the Muse grudgingly suggested. “Maybe.”

“So why did she try to kill the dragon?” The Writer doodled the roughest outline of a teenager on the board.

“Because she thinks too small,” the Dragon muttered as it wandered in from the story mists. Its scales were a mottled green brown and moss grew haphazardly across its back. “It’s not her fault, she’s a small mind.”

“I am not!” Objected the generic brown Dog that trotted in at its heels. “It’s not I’m too small, it’s you’re too big!”

“So something small,” the Dragon repeated. It had politely shrunk itself to the size of a large van as it entered the living room and it flopped down next to the couch where it had a good view of the board. “Maybe I burnt something down, or killed someone, or ate a stock animal with bad genetics.”

“You didn’t stop the flood!” barked the Dog, furious. “It killed people, destroyed homes– You’ve stopped them before, but this time you didn’t even come out of the forest to see!”

“Because I knew it was going to happen,” said the Dragon, unconcerned, “I told you very specifically not to build on the floodplain. I’m not coddling you or you’ll never learn.”

“You told my great-grandparents, not me!”

The Dragon shrugged, “You can’t expect me to keep track of that. You all look the same and your lives are so very short.”

The Dog glared.

The Dragon ignored her.

The Writer and the Muse exchanged looks.

“This is going to be an interesting November,” the Muse finally said.

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Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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