NaNoWriMo: Rough Drafting in the Shadow Forest
Guest Post by Kari Trenten
Perhaps it was a mistake to attempt to write a rough draft of My Tool, My Treasure for NaNoWriMo.
I haven’t finished my revisions on the first book in my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest series (Stealing Myself From Shadows). Nor have I completed them on the second (The Hand and the Eye of the Tower), or the third (A Godling for Your Thoughts?)
Why take on the rough draft of the fourth book?
Because it’s NaNoWriMo, a time set aside for rough drafts. All of the energy and encouraging posts (and believe me, writers, I find them encouraging, thank you) are aimed at people trying to churn a story out in its rawest, most creative form.
This draft needs to be written. Now seems like as good a time as any to do it.
I’m working on a series, a magical journey based on Tarot card imagery. My Tool, My Treasure is part of it. I’ve only got a hazy idea of where I’m going. Writing this rough draft clears more of the path to that destination. I need the bones, the framework of the overall story before I flesh it out.
Everything I’ve read and listened encourages me to think long term. To have a long term plan. Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest is a major part of that long term plan.
Readers don’t like to wait too long for the next part of a story. I’ve already taken more time than many of them would like. I still think it would be better to release Stealing Myself From Shadows when they won’t have to wait too long for The Hand and the Eye of the Tower, A Godling for Your Thoughts?, My Tool, My Treasure, Blades of Thought, and My Cusps Runneth Over afterwards.
Yes, I have that many books planned. Originally the first book was going to be inspired by the Greater Trumps, the second by pentacles/coins/diamonds, the third by spades/swords, the fourth by wands/staffs/clubs, and the last by cups/cusps/hearts. Only I ended up with two books inspired by Greater Trump imagery. At first I thought they’d be companion books, concurrent with each other, until I realized that Stealing Myself From Shadows was the first book. All the preludes I’d posted at inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com were urging me to tell Christopher’s tale first. The Hand and the Eye of the Tower, Danyel and Tayel’s story was second.
I’m still confused by the association of swords and spades with air. I’m equally confused by wands and clubs being different faces of a similar suit, one affilated with fire. The sword feels more fire-like to me while the wand feels like air. I’m not always sure of this, especially since the wand might also be a club.
I’ve been struggling to learn about the symbolism of these cards for years, yet I still have much to learn. The crippling fear of my own ignorance slows me down in my path to self publication.
I’ve got to move forward. I’m not writing about the Tarot cards themselves. I’m writing a series of ambient fiction novels inspired by the cards.
That’s the story I want to tell, the story which needs to be told.
Best move on with it.