And I am sure I’ve forgotten to pack pretty much everything I need for Camp NaNoWrimo… Like setting, and pertinent world details, and character sheets, and some idea how to get very specific social morality converted into sci-fi appropriate social dilemmas.
But, I shall not be afraid. I will venture into the stellar wilderness aboard one of the generational colony space ships in The Legacy Fleet, and I shall find out what Pride and Prejudice looks like in the far flung future. I’m hoping it turns out much the same as the original, because otherwise I will have done something very, very unexpected and contrary.
I still haven’t managed to work through the Science Fiction Writers of America World Building questions, because I somehow managed to procrastinate around it, so I will be making a lot of it up as I go. Not unusual, but certainly not optimal for me.
Still, onward to Seeking Space, and the quirky nature of people that doesn’t seem to change that much despite increases in technology. After all, it wouldn’t be the same if the characters didn’t laugh at their neighbours and be laughed at in their turn.
The Backyard! It will be ours!
I am having a dilemma. And I think it’s one that not only writers who are pantsers or character driven can understand. It involves plot, and the most appropriate way of getting your story idea out into the world so it’s exciting and interesting.
For Seeking Space, my Camp NaNoWriMo project, I am doing a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Ambitious? Not really, because I am under no illusions that it will be any good. It certainly isn’t going to magically come out as a perfectly publishable piece that will get me a farm and a pony and all the other nice things that come of winning the writerly luck lottery.
The problem is as follows. In Pride and Prejudice, the story is conveyed in a very different style to modern literature. No surprise, this is a part of the foundation of literature. It’s called a classic for a reason. Which is why the completely sensible and utterly marketable advice in The Fantasy Fiction Formula by Deborah Chester has me rattled.
How am I supposed to do a sci-fi retelling of a story that, when you get right down to it, has a main character we like because of her inner conflict and change rather than her impacts on the world at large? All the small things that escalate do so in part because someone doesn’t act, and then when things are at their worst, it’s not Lizzy who goes to the rescue. It’s Darcy. And yes, I like it because it’s an ‘actions are louder than words’ sort of moment, but it does mean that the main character isn’t the one who solves the issue. Which would not fly in a modern sci-fi. And rightly so. I love Anne McCaffrey‘s works precisely because things get done by the main character, and the small decisions have larger consequences.
Which leads to the point. How do you preserve the essence of a story, without becoming trapped in the nuance of the original? I’ve seen Mercedes Lackey do it time and time again in her Five Hundred Kingdoms series, but they’re all still medieval or fantasy, so similar rules to work within. My original is right out there…
So into the final few days of March I go, the original plot mapped out but my world building still a shambles, and no idea what the whole things is going to look like in my novel. Sounds about like a normal Camp NaNoWriMo, I guess. Lucky I have some practise.
And these cute monsters.
Dusty and Duchess, exhausted after exploring the backyard.
Today, I made some time to do some stereotypical writerly things. In fact, because I am preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo I decided to really let myself be clichéd.
I went to a little coffee shop, had a cup of tea, and wrote notes about my project.
Granted, it was a coffee shop in a shopping centre, and the notes are mapping out my inspiration text, but it counts! And I was using it to procrastinate, because grocery shopping is daunting pre-tea, but I still did it!
My Camp NaNoWriMo project also has a title! Seeking Space. For which I have to thank a very good writing buddy, because I was terrible at coming up with anything so she helped me and I helped her. Thus goes the cycle of writing buddies, and if you haven’t got some I highly recommend finding a few. It has been the difference between me winning Camp and NaNoWriMo, and not making it through the dreaded Week Two.
But, since I still have to map out the original text so I have the plot in order, and then try and get my head around Deborah Chester’s The Fantasy Fiction Formula, I better get back to it.
If anyone else is doing Camp, I hope your preparation is going well!
Proof I am doing writing preparation! And that I have terrible handwriting…