My Scrivener binder is an absolute mess right now, but I’m kind of loving it – it means things are happening! I’ve thrown everything I wrote during 2014 NaNo under the ‘Draft Nano’ folder so that it’s there if I need it, but since it’s mostly clutter for now, I’ve swept it under the proverbial rug just to make things seem more doable.
As you can see, I am very excellent with naming scenes and chapters. My goal of finishing a rewrite by October 31 in preparation for NaNo16 will go up to the “Sailing” folder – everything after than will be officially cut and NaNo16 ‘novel’ will be grafted on from there. This means both a stable foundation and a fresh start – and not so much time mired in the mud of exposition.
Seriously, I think a good 2/3 of the original is spent in exposition. From the folder labeled ‘Exposition’ to ‘After Lapu’ can be counted as EXPOSITION. For the love of God, past self… get into gear!!
Luckily, that is just what I’m doing now! We’re moving to chapter two and things are already moving at a faster clip than before. Progress is measured in increments.
I also had a lightbulb moment today during my writing session. In my original draft, the story opened with MC Kaya/Kinah defying her village’s misogynistic ways and attending the traditionally ‘all-male’ hunt in disguise as a boy. First of all, while I love the idea of Kaya/Kinah as a genderfluid person, this suggests two things:
- That the village was large enough that one extra boy would not be noticed in the throng, and
- That kind of bull still happens, even in this fantasy land that I have constructed and created over YEARS.
Why? Why does she have to fight against sexist traditions, even in a world of my pure imagination, Gene Wilder? Why?
Answer: she doesn’t, so she won’t.
It simply won’t be an issue in this world, because the only thing that really matters post-nuclear apocalypse is how well you can protect yourself and your loved ones. Who cares if you’re a boy, girl, or neither if you can do that, and do it well?
All instances of Kaya/Kinah’s character being undermined because of her gender have been wiped from the slate, because this is fantasy and we have enough of that in the real world. This story should be focused on the characters and their misadventures, not a fantasy version of sexism. Because where’s the fun in that?
The fun is, reader, in the subversion of that trope.
And I’m not talking in terms of misandry. Oh no, I’m talking in terms of making Kaya/Kinah’s twin brother Lapu/Likteh be the one to sneak into a place where he is forbidden. He’s not forbidden because of his gender like Kaya/Kinah was in Draft NaNo – he’s forbidden because he got dealt a shitty hand of fate and the council has decided he should not go on the Green Journey with his twin, which is really in his best interest. Should he listen? Absolutely! Will he listen? Absolutely not – and that is what makes writing this story very fun.
Of course he’s going to sneak around in disguise until he’s past the point of no return. He’ll be the one in disguise because he doesn’t like what has been decreed. At no point will anyone be denied anything because of their gender in this story. That sort of angst we can find aplenty in the real world and other fiction, so it has no place here.
Yes. Lots of progress this week, and I’m feeling fine. See you on Monday for a snippet!