This is me right now, folks! I’m pumped up and ready to do another chapter today.
So far, I’ve checked my word count and I’ve written about 7,000 words in two days. I’m still behind like 42K words. A friend of mine is kicking my butt with an additional 8,000 words. I didn’t go to bed until 5:30 a.m.
But so far, it’s been amazing! It’s wonderful being in NaNoWriMo chatrooms and seeing who else is struggling alongside with you. Everyone is very encouraging. It’s like a support group for Writers Anonymous. I love it!
What’s keeping me going is honestly the challenge. It’s quite thrilling. A little competition never hurt anyone.
A little bit of hope and some rage. Last night I was working on a very controversial scene in my book and had difficulty just writing it down, because I couldn’t decide if I should allow my character to be a victim of violence and abuse. There’s a possibility Out of The Unknown will have ‘adult’ content with a warning or disclaimer… I still didn’t want her to be some damsel in distress, but a freaking warrior chick/survivor. When I was watching the Walking Dead last week, I had a really bad feeling something was going to happen to my favorite character. Why is it that the strongest female characters are always victims of rape? Batman didn’t get raped. Neither did Superman. Or Wonder Woman…I hope. I understand their circumstances, but why? Can’t a girl just be a badass on her own, without getting raped all the freaking time?
And then, I read some articles on the culture of violence against women. So naturally, I’m screwed, because as I was rummaging around for research, my mind just exploded like a raging volcano. Of course, my character is female and I love all my female characters in my stories, but in this particular case, I didn’t want this character to have to deal with such a horrific fate… the thought of having to write all those years of the physical and mental trauma just made me want to stab myself in the eyes. I consider myself a big Xena fan and I just hate stereotypical gender roles. The thought of using rape as a back-story… is cliché’ in itself. Sometimes reading some of these articles online about how women are treated now (in poorer regions) just makes me want to gag…
I know I love making my characters suffer horribly sometimes, and yet this one struck a nerve with me. I noticed I have a lot of reoccurring themes throughout my stories. All my female characters are pretty badass in their own unique ways while the men are a bit weaker…frankly, I don’t think you’d want to know. Am I a sexist now or something? Eh, I don’t believe so. Men and women are both the same. Both can be victims of violence and abuse. I don’t care what people say. Women are not inferior to men, and the reverse. We all have weaknesses and strengths; each one of us is a unique individual that has every right to find happiness and fulfill our goals and dreams. No gender, race, or religion is better than the other. I’m not really a feminist, though I believe in equality for all no matter what race, religion, gender, and age people are.
It’s just unbelievable that stuff like this is still going on in the world today that it sickens me. I want to make a difference. I want to change how people feel about this and make things a better place for future generations, but I cannot do it alone. Can one girl change the world? Is it possible? I do believe so, if people are willing to change themselves first. Yes, this sounds like preaching and I don’t mean to preach.
The scene I wrote…I wouldn’t even wish this kind of fate on my own worst enemies. That’s how bad this was for me. After talking it out with some fellow writers, they pushed me to carry on through, despite the subject. If a scene is emotionally charged enough, as a writer, you’re supposed to provoke thought for your readers and maybe offer some insight to the atrocities around the globe, happening daily. As a writer, I’d like to look back on my books and see if I can change the world for a better place…hopefully, not for the worst.
I don’t believe in spreading hatred or showing all the evils of the world. Outside of The Unknown is actually about finding love and enlightenment, despite all hardships and tragedies. In the end, all my characters find peace, one way or another. I only wanted to bring in a glimpse of what people don’t normally see everyday. It’s something I haven’t dealt with either, lack of experience and traveling, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to discuss more about these topics in future works.
Writers can’t just ignore their gut instincts and write a happy story, where everyone lives in a happy little perfect world. The thought of no one dying, no one suffering, no hardships, etc, etc doesn’t make it feel real to me. Grant it, not a lot of people can stomach certain topics, but avoiding them seems so much like “ignorance is bliss” motto… or denying your own existence… or just denial that there are no bad people whatsoever. No such place exists. There is no safe bubble to live under anywhere. I’m sorry folks, that’s not how I run. In fact, some said to not censor it (even though I already did mentally), because when the emotions are raw that is the best time for me to write.
I’M GOING IN FOR THE GOAL FOLKS!
- NaNoWriMo Writers Rock! (rachelleharp.com)
- NaNoWriMo – A Review of the First Day (asilisis.wordpress.com)
- The Pros and Cons of NaNoWriMo (onewaytowonder.wordpress.com)
- NaNoWriMo: Can you write a novel in a month? (telegraph.co.uk)
- Working title: join a collective NaNoWriMo experiment (themodernmanuscript.wordpress.com)