It’s been a year (more like 11 months and 29 days, or 363) since I first posted about NaNoWriMo. Last year, I didn’t win which sucks! I got to 20,762 words, and sure it’s not 50k but it’s 20k and I was pretty proud (well still am), my 2008 novel only got 1,724 and my 2009 novel got 2,000. I skipped 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 because of class. This year, it’s going to be different I only do class two days a week and I now am a volunteer worker at my old school library probably once or twice a week. Though the minimum word count to get to 50k on the 30th is 1,667 which is pretty easy mind you.
This year I did a course on superheros and how they have affected pop culture. In that course, I created a superhero – The Shifting Howl, or Quinn Nullah a mixed race (white/Australian Aboriginal) person who’s queer and has the ‘powers’ per se of the Rainbow Serpent from Australian Aboriginal mythology/dream time. Because in my course we had to pick a mythological character that they were based off of and a suggestion was to choose one from your own country and I love Greek mythology, but I had never really delved in or took any notice to Australian Aboriginal mythology and especially since they’re the original land owners of my country it’d be a good idea to learn and read about the ancestors of this land.
So from this I decided my nano story would be about this superhero having doubts of who they are and everything, but the one thing I’ve come across as troubling is, race. I am a white person, my family is full of English Australians, Scottish, Irish, apparently I’m French and German too and who knows I might have ancestors who aren’t white themselves, but the switch in DNA might have been turned off as my line got progressively more white. The protagonist, Quinn, is a mixed race Australian (Australian Aboriginal/Australian English), and the antagonist is white and is racist (from the 50’s time travelled because of a demon at cross roads, cliché I know).
It’s difficult to know what to write as a form of “if my story is a current time story, then of course racist aren’t going to censor themselves” but at the same time it’s like “I’m a white person, the only discrimination I’ve faced is my gender (both as a woman and as an androgynous person) and my sexual orientation (all though given I’ve never really faced any discrimination so far because of it), so I can use slurs because I know what it’s like to be queer, but I don’t know what it’s like to be non-white.” I’ve had a friend tell me that it’s okay, it’s literature, it’s not actually what the author believes, but in the nano forums someone said because I haven’t experienced it, I can’t talk about it.
I just kind of wanted to get that out there and this blog post was going to be like a kit of what to do with nano, but hey, there’s a bit of thought about literature and slurs by the author and everything. SO, NANOWRIMO KIT! hahaha, today is the 31st and I don’t celebrate Halloween because I’m Australian and like sure there’s Halloween things but we don’t go all out like Americans do, so here’s my kit:-
- Lollies/sweets/candy, I bought over $20 worth of lollies, and I didn’t even fill my jar up but it’s essentially to keep me going through. To have a few lollies throughout the night.
- Tea/Coffee/Caffeinated beverage of choice/Energy drink. I choose tea, I can’t stand the taste of coffee. I do like Red Bull though, I’ve recently gotten into those when I absolutely hated the taste.
- Writing program of choice. I’ve always used word, but hated having to bring my USB with me if I wanted to continue the story; so this year I’m using Google Docs. You can use Scrivener I’ve seen a lot of people use, Evernote, even a pen and paper. Some people choose pens and paper, others choose electronic devices, even portable ones like phones or tablets or notebooks can do the job!
- Good soundtrack. Some people use lyrical music, I can’t use lyrical music when I do assignments or writing in general. But you can use Spotify, or 8tracks, or even iTunes music.
- Informative books. Some people use the No Plot? No Problem! or Read, Set, Novel! books from the nanowrimo store, I’ve found some pdf files of books online about writing and such that I can read on public transport to and from class or the city or something.
- A cheerleader. Someone who can cheer you on the sidelines, they can be someone not doing the program (my boyfriend, and many friends), or someone who is (my friend Morgan – shoutout). They just help you achieve your daily goals and help you achieve the 50k.
- USB, or external hard drive. Just to back up your work in case of anything getting lost which we don’t want to happen of course. It can be a 4gb usb, if anything!
- Inspiration. Well it’s always good to have inspiration and such.
- Water. Because it’s water.
- The Nanowrimo forums! This place is awesome, and it can help you with any question or query you have!
That’s the list, I think I’ll have weekly updates on my progress and how I’m going, but it’s an hour and a half until it starts and I’m quite nervous but this should be very exciting and whoo~ Good luck to anyone competing themselves, I’m sure you’ll win!