Sunday, September 28, 2014

NaNoWriBlo: Oh God, Not The Backstory!

Also known as "this thing happened, but I don't want the plot to revolve around it." Also known as balancing story, setting and backstory. Yes, I talked about this before.

But first, time for some NaNoWriMo history on my end:

For my first NaNo, I didn't actually plan that much. I had a setting and some characters and I knew the specific plot twist I wanted. Then again, it was set in a world I had already established years ago, so no big deal there. This is actually the one I like the most, even though it gets weird.

My second NaNo was set in a whole new world (insert reference here). I did lots of planning for the setting, and I had that huge list of things I didn't want to turn into huge plot points because that's been done and I felt it was kinda ugh. I struggled to get my 50k and padded with all main characters watching the key scene of the ending.

My third NaNo was me trying to write by the seat of my pants and I failed horribly. I restarted after ~5 days, but couldn't catch up any more.

So I had varying degrees of story, backstory and setting, and I'm still not sure what the right combination is. But I have learned from my past mistakes, so, in order of the NaNos that taught me that, here's my list of things I'm trying not to do this time:

I won't let specific aspects of the setting take over everything.
I won't try to desperately exclude facets of the setting/parts of the backstory.
I won't drop all story planning because I think I can pants this.

Let's see how fast everything derails this time.

The Big Event

Right now, there's basically one big event that's defined in the setting's history, and that's the attack on the mining colony town Betsev-4. People died, people were injured, the town was damaged, but most importantly, it was an incredibly bold move. Even twenty years after it happened, this event is still present in the minds of people. You could say it changed the world. Not just Betsev itself, but the whole network it's part of.

My first idea was to go "but this is not what the novel is about". Problem is that it is. The main character was present when it happened, so of course there's got to be an influence.

That doesn't mean it's the main plot. Twenty years is a long time. Just because something influences a character, that doesn't mean it's all there is to them. In this case, sure, Betsev-4 is going to come up, and it's going to play a role, but it's just that. I wish I could draw landscapes, because then you'd get concept art.


Words: 0 (Still not november.)
Current status: I'm fighting the urge to make Yuka more popular. Also, I think I worked out how Betsev-4 fits into the plot, but it's still kinda vague. I'm also not sure what Yuka's and Ron common backstory will be. If there is any. (And I still fail to draw Yuka.) There's also going to be a space pirate clan leader, maybe the one who lead the clan when the attack happened, or her heir. I think I have to think about space pirates more.

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