At least this year I didn't feel them. In fact, I don't think I ever did feel them... I think I always go through the highs and lows during the writing process rather than afterwards...
I any case, this year's nanowrimo is over and i more or less managed to fulfill my objectives. It's Not Too Dark Here stopped at 56 198 and The Lost Years ended at 60 129 (at ten minutes to midnight on the 30th of November...)
I was really behind my schedule when I got to portugal on the 26th. But then I spent a few good days at a very good friend's house typing away and avoiding most of the grey weather and rain that struck Lisbon.
I'm very happy to the way It's Not Too Dark Here turned out. I think this was the first time I had quite a clear idea of where the book was heading from the beginning and that really helped along the way. If you have the direction it's always easier to stay on course...
What I loved was the way the story kept changing as I wrote it. I knew there had to be a major clash between this strange anti-hero and the forces of the outside world but the way I had initially planned it was almost entirely discarded.
writing is an odd thing because it feels to me like a mix of being in the flow but also deciding where it will go next. I simply try to be in the flow and, when I'm not, that's when I start deciding about plot, characters and so forth. Maybe this will change in the future but, for now, this is the way I feel more comfortable with.
one of the good things that I enjoyed watching as I wrote was this character I had based on a friend of mine.
We had had a good long chat in september and, after telling her of my ideas for November, she said I should write her into the story. I took the bait right there and then and my mind automatically started browsing for possibilities. Very rapidly I thought of what I wanted her to represent in the book - which was (and still is) her core attitude towards life and something that i needed in the book. But i now had a character to insert somewhere in the story that I hadn't envisioned from the onset.
She was going to be the voice of consciousness. The voice throughout the story that every so often reminds us that the setting is utterly insane and that, despite that fact, everything is still pushing forward at incredible speed. She is the observer of the lunacy of it all. She is one of the bridges between intentions, story and readers.
I did a first attempt to place her in the story. I wanted her to be there more or less from the onset you see.
but that didn't work out. I wrote a couple of scenes but they felt too forced and not really going anywhere. It felt as if she shouldn't be there.
So i dropped it.
I forgot all about i, actually.
But then the story kept evolving. And, after a particular important climax, she just came back into the game for a few very important scenes.
With The Lost Years the story was a bit different. I quickly realised that this book was going to be more than what I have initially envisioned and that I needed a lot more time to bring it to blossom. So, I decided to forget somewhat the research aspect of it (I didn't have the time or internet when I was in portugal) and focus on the drama.
But, even so, this was a story full of surprises. The characters really grew on me and I think that even if you were to read it now, they would grow on you as well. I think there's a deep sense of humanity through it all. But, to be quite honest, it felt as if there was still much to be said. This story is one that I keep having ideas about, getting clearer and clearer every time I think about it. It's a place where i feel comfortable being and I believe it's an important story to be told in this way.
I thought a lot about Nietzsche's Anti-Christ (that I read many years ago) and the vision of a more human Jesus (in his case, in defiance of more "orthodox" christianity). In a way I think the purpose of this book is to reconcile what seems to me to be misinterpretations of both orthodox christianity and philosophy towards Jesus's message.
And that's why I need a bit more time to read through both the bible (a new version that a friend of mine bought which is based upon the "original" texts rather than the string of translations) and some more material (which includes Nietzsche's final work).
I don't know why but I just feel an incredible potential with this book. I know it has been done before (and most surely it will be done again in the future), but I feel that it is important and that it needs to be said. I don't know why, but there is really a calling for this one.
And the strange thing is that, even though I consider Jesus a pretty interesting character, I am much more fascinated by many other historical figures.
In any case, I do not want to turn it into an essay debating the pros and cons of two viewpoints. Rather, I wish to integrate seamlessly into the narrative some answers to much of the debate still going on about this greatly misinterpreted historical figure. I believe that if Jesus was alive today he would probably disagree with much that is being said in his name. The book tries to convey this idea more clearly through dramatic exploration of particular scenarios but also allow us to more clearly see Jesus as both a man of his time but also ahead of his time. The keywords here being his incredible adaptability and compassion.
Still, I have stopped thinking reasons for this and instead simply accepted the way things are currently in my heart and mind...
If you are interested in knowing a bit more about this just go to wikipedia and search for Essenes or, even better, go to this website:
there you'll have a plethora of information and this will easily help you get a better idea of where this book is headed. Connect this with Buddhism (which is the root of the Essene teachings) and you pretty much get it.
So, the idea is simple. To recreate Jesus's journeys, both inside and throughout the world. Hopefully the beauty of his teachings will become closer to all those that read it. To me, much more important than the divine (physical) birth of Jesus (and we're all divine anyway so there's really no need to differentiate...) is that other birth, the opening into full divinity inside his heart. I simply wish that that journey will help us recognise that aspect of ourselves. And awaken us to it.