Post NaNo: I’m ready to start on my real novel

NaNo-2015-Winner-Badge-Large-SquareHere it is, the day after, and I took a day off from work. It wasn’t the result of NaNoWriMo but rather pushing myself at work the past couple of weeks. I had hoped to last until my scheduled days off, which would have been Thursday and Friday, but when I woke up, I knew I had to rest or else I really would go down for the count.

So I slept in until about noon. When I did manage to get out of bed, I didn’t do much but shower and get dressed. Feeling hungry, I headed into town to buy myself a salad. Another consequence of working to much lately has been eating poorly, and I just needed some vegetables. I’m not sure if a salad really counts, but it was still better than the fast food crap I’ve been shoving into my mouth.

I relaxed and didn’t think about writing. For the past month, I wrote a story that never really gelled. My characters were uncooperative, and the story never took off. The suspense I hoped to create between my two main characters never really formed, and there was never any action between the antagonist and the protagonists. I quickly fell out of love for the story, but I pushed through to the end, happy that it’s finally over.

But as I rested today, an itch to revisit another NaNo came to me. Last year I started writing the story of Giada, a minor character in my first NaNo, The Son of the Father. That too didn’t go the way I planned, and in fact it’s the second attempt to write the story, but I never gave up on it. I simply put it on hold, until now.

I opened both attempts to write the story, and though they are vastly different stories, I think I can use the best of them to create a third, and final version. Or at least that’s my hope. Giada, as I originally envisioned her, was an escort for the rich and powerful, a high-priced prostitute and a former porn starlet. I created her as an act of revenge towards a former flame who I felt betrayed me.

But now, years after the fact, I think that’s been my main problem with Giada. She isn’t some immoral, promiscuous slut. She’s a woman who’s been hurt by the men in her life, namely an emotionally unavailable father, and lovers who saw her as a prize to be coveted rather than a person deserving of respect. Though she lives a very free existence, she’s not some shallow bimbo. Giada is an earnest and sincere woman.

I fell in love with the character in spite of myself. Out of all of the characters I have created, she’s the one I like the most. She’s exuberant and just has a joy for life that I find endearing and contagious. She refuses to be kept down despite all the crap that’s gone her way.

That’s why I’ve had so much trouble writing her story. She deserves a good tale. I know she’s a fictional person, but she is real in my mind’s eye. She lives and breaths as a figment of my imagination, far more than some of the others I have created. She’s a complete woman, with both good and bad in her.

Giada will be the next project I write. I wonder how I’ll do it, to reconcile my the different versions of her, but I suspect most of what I have will be thrown out. Well actually, I’ll probably recycle most of it. It may not fit into her narrative, but it’s too good to let go.

While I may not have found any pleasure in this year’s NaNoWriMo, it may have rekindled my desire to write. Only time will tell if I go through with publishing anything, but for now at least I had fun with the exercise.

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