The deadline has come and this is the end of this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo attempt! It’s been a fun run and while I may not have hit my goal of 15,000 words, I came close(ish)(sorta) and I’ve got what looks to be the bones of a decent story. …even if I did blatantly ignore the daily outlines I spent so much time building. *facepalm*
Read at your own risk/amusement: There will most likely be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, contradictions/retcons, uneven characterization and pacing.
Daily Wordcount: 1,136
Total Wordcount: 10,211 (includes Title, Chapter Headers, etc.)
Day 30 – Too Late For Happy Endings
“We’re on the last day and we only have the barest hints of a story,” pointed out Mother from her comfy chair as the Writer stared morosely at the writing desk. “So maybe less moping, more words?”
“Unless you’re volunteering to write…” The Writer waved a hand at the mess of the story. “Seriously, what do I do with this? It’s like we used April to write all around an story, but never actually get to the story.”
“So maybe we started out with the wrong story.” The Muse was looking over the endless whiteboard with Father by her side. “Look, we have the end and we have the beginning, sort of… maybe we don’t need the middle? Maybe we don’t even need the beginning.”
“Wait, what?” The Writer blinked.
“Well, this was meant to be short story, right?” said Father. “So you knew that 15,000 words was going to include a lot of, well, this,” he waved a hand at the faux-living room, “and not as much story.”
The Writer reluctantly nodded.
“Think about it– Do we really need anything but the end?” He pointed at the giant mass of question marks in the middle of the story outline. “There’s nothing in the end that isn’t explained in the beginning. We could easily just put in references to what happened and it would all even out.”
“But what’s the point of just the end?” The Writer countered. “It’s just you four sitting around drinking coffee and making deals.”
“It doesn’t have to be,” said Mother. “We can start at the top of the valley, give the backstory on how we got there and why… then move into the cabin and the talk.” She got up out of the chair and gave Wuli’s head a fond pat as she passed on her way to the whiteboard. “You can always come back and play with Wuli and Hexa later, right now we just focus on the very end of things.”
“It’s all so… passive.” The Writer waved a hand at the board and it’s collection of doodles. “You walk, you talk, you don’t even argue that much about the offer. What fun is that for a story? You’re suppose to change, grow, something.”
“I’m not saying it’s a perfect solution,” said Father. “I’m just saying the bits of the story you don’t want to write because they’re ‘boring’ might be boring to read. So if we can find a way to skip them, summarize them, then we can tell the same story, just with a lot less words.”
“This is NaNo,” pointed out the Muse.
“Okay, so simplify it for me then,” grumped the Writer, crossing her arms to glare at the small crowd armed with whiteboard markers.
“Hmm, so we start at the top of the valley,” started Mother, swiping left to a clean area of the endless whiteboard. “We can think about the things we had to do to get there and all the backstory about why we are there.”
“You can weave that into the trip down the valley path as well,” pointed out the Muse. “Describe the valley a little more, get the reader all hyped for an epic battle at the bottom.”
“So basically laying a false narrative,” said Father.
“Well, we don’t know it’s false,” said Wuli as he trotted over to help. “It would be based on what we are thinking and what we are worried about. But that’s a lot of head-hopping.”
“Third person omniscient POV then,” said the Muse, making a whiteboard note. “Or limited, I can never keep those straight.”
“Right, so we get down to the bottom, all ready to go… and run into Mr. Man In Black, who still doesn’t have a name.” Mother looked over at the man expectantly, but he was still curled up in his chair reading. “You going to help out at all?”
“You’ve got this,” he said absently, “I’m still trying to figure out what I am. There’s a lot of good mythology here and I want to make sure I don’t end up just a copy of the creatures in her other ‘verses. Since there are magic horses, and things that eat magic, and stories that play around with fate already, I’m trying to find something to make me stand out.”
“You do you,” the Muse shrugged and redirected Mother’s attention back to the plot. “Now could we make the argument, I dunno, harder? You all seem to just buy into the plan pretty quickly. There’s nothing that says you have to agree on day one.”
“Fairy tales do three nights, so we could go with that,” Father said thoughtfully. “He could also be less forthcoming, I suppose. Although he seems to have a rather direct personality.”
“We could argue more,” offered Wuli. “If Mother is for then I’m the against and Father is the deciding vote?”
“I thought we were going with ‘everyone or no one’,” said Mother.
“Yeah, but if I strengthen my position, I won’t ever agree,” countered Wuli.
“But the warrens were going to be exempt,” said the Muse. “So you could be talked into it because none of you would be affected– although that’s a little cutthroat. Depends on how you look at humans, I suppose.”
“Sacrifice you to save the warren, hmm.” Wuli pondered. “I suppose I could see that, depending on how much being a magical construct messes with our heads. As much as I love Hexa, she won’t be affected by this either because I can just get her to leave… and her family didn’t seem to like me much anyway.”
“You’re the magic bunny that she ran away from home to team up with and you got her tangled up in a quest that could have killed her,” Mother grumped. “I wonder why I don’t like you much.”
Wuli muttered something unrepeatable in rabbit.
“Moving on,” said the Muse. “So if we skip the beginning that we have, we’ll spend less time around Hexa, which is good because she’s not really in the story anyways. It means a lot more subtle exposition, yay?, and we need to find more good arguments for and against the deal.”
“But otherwise we have a story?” asked Father.
“I think so.”
They all stood back and looked at the new story map.
There was a long pause.
“Fine, fine,” said the Writer, giving up her pipe dreams of an epic wilderness survival story. “You have a point, this could work.” She rolled up her sleeves with a sigh. “So I guess this means we can call this Camp NaNoWriMo a wrap and get onto the second draft.”
And there was much rejoicing.