Heh, this post is mostly for Leigh Barlow because he made a comment that made me remember summers in my childhood. I grew up in the northern part of the North Island of New Zealand. Right on the coastline. I’m sure it’s influenced my writing in some way, but it wasn’t until last year that I consciously made an effort to write about it.
Cue 30 Days of Paradise, what I considered would be my practice run of Nanowrimo 2007 (what the hell was I thinking?). 30k in 30 days. I think I only got about 15k in or so. Actually, I can’t even remember why I stopped writing it. Probably thought that planning for Nano was a better idea.
The novel came to me the same way that this years Nano did. Without too much thought. It’s main character was a guy called Tutoz. Or at least that was his nickname. A aimless thug from Auckland, his family had sent him north to stay with other family, to learn a lesson or stay out of trouble or some such crap. A rather cliched plotline in NZ fiction, I’ve since realized.
Anyway, other than writing about a bisexual thug, who really didn’t care what people thought about him, it was an exercise in writing someone who was probably not the nicest of people, coping with going from the city to the country (he laments that his cellphone doesn’t work). I also got to evoke my childhood. The lack of complications of the country. The endless summer days and long cool summer nights, filled with clear, star filled skies. When there was a chorus of cicadas from the mornings, and you could smell the trees.
I’m very much a city boy myself now, and pretty much started writing urban fiction. I still do, very much. But I think I’m starting to spread a bit. Environment always plays a huge part in my writing. Anyway, Tutoz didn’t get his story finished, but Road Trip starred him after he (presumably) escaped Northland. I like recurring characters.
I’ve decided to set up my writing journal for the next month and year. It’s something I do so I know how slack I’m being. Day by day, month by month, I have to put down my work count and what I’m working on. This year around, I’m going to include a part of it where I can put in future commitments. A sort of calendar of my writing year. I think it’s important. We can very easily lose sight of what’s ahead, and more importantly, how much we have done, and how far we have come.
Completely forgot that I wrote the New Year Novella 2007 challenge. Writing journals are good for that. Maybe I might put it up here as a rough template to anyone who wants to use it when I’m done.