It all began a November 1st, when I found out about the United States’ National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo), where people are challenged to write a 50,000-word novel during that month. I had an idea in my head, growing for many years, and though I had made several tries before, I had left them abandoned. The idea was to release a comic book, Japanese-style. But first, learning from the experience of many series, I had to write the story. And what a better way to do so than with a light novel?
For those who don’t know, a light novel is a narration with a style original from Japan, intended for teenagers and usually from the fiction genre, where a story is told with simple language, adorned with various illustrations, and often ends up as a comic or animation series. So for me, a person who had no time to draw a webcomic, this challenge was the ideal push to start with something easier. I began writing. And then I kept writing, and writing. A thousand words per day, rain or storm or sunshine. I reached 30,000 by the end of NaNoWriMo, and I kept writing even more. Many things happened since that first day. I got a laptop, finished my bachelorship, got hired on a job, and kept writing until I finished my story. Yesterday, finally, I wrote the last line. Three hundred and twenty-one consecutive days of writing, often until the wee hours of the night, more than three hundred and fourty thousand words of English prose (just in case of being international since the beginning), and a story that I’ve been planning almost from my adolescence, finally reflected on a colossal text file of almost two megabytes.
And why did I do it? To finally get my story out of my head? Yes, partly. To write one of the first English light novels on my country? That too. To practice my English? By the way, yes. But more than anything, I did it to collaborate with free culture, which especially on our country is so lacking representatives. Usually I’d give it the same license than this blog, but I’m talking about a potentially multimedia story. I’ve even planned in my mind the opening theme, I’ve even started to compose the tune and all. And when we talk about audiovisuals, there will always be someone making derivative works on Photoshop or Audition or Sony Vegas, and because of that the person cannot (or doesn’t want to) release the raw files to edit them with free software. Because of that, I gave it a GPL license, to ensure that people can extend and polish the story, but only as long as they release back the source code in a free format.
Now then, this is a preliminary version. As software, this release is full of errors, and I have a full list of them: unneeded weird repetitions, words that need synonyms, details and characters that could have been developed further, details that could be developed better with less words, inconsistent events, characters with a shallow personality and perhaps even accidentally misogynistic, excessive remarking of the intimate factor, grammar errors proper of those who speak English as a second language, and (perhaps the worst) whole categories of mistakes that have escaped my consciousness. That’s why I’m passing from the cathedral phase to the bazaar phase, trying to find as many people as possible to read my humble try of an epic narration and start to check the text, and then dedicate themselves to chop and substitute the spurious text without remorse to leave a truly light novel, about 50,000 words at most.
From now on, now without the load of the thousand words per day, I’ll dedicate my time to tread the text carefully, correct what the critics indicate, and I also have to work in illustrating the book, since that’s the other half of a worthy light novel. And I also have to publish the draft in as many places as I can. Though now that I notice, I think that I haven’t commented on the story of my book. For those interested, Project N deals with a young man that is offered a travel around the world for vacations, as long as he accompanies the daughter of an acquaintance of his father. Eventually he discovers that said daughter is among the last descendants of a clan of alchemists, that he also has related abilities, and that the vacations are actually for both of them to train said abilities. Well, of course, there’s a certain organization behind them, and the rest is a matter of you to read the story.
Here goes the link to the draft as it was left yesterday, and I’ll be updating it every week more or less. For those interested, the statistics on how many words I wrote per day are on this other link, also under the book’s license. The series also has accounts (in English) on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Identi.ca and Friendica. I’ll also try to update the progress on those accounts every week. I hope that you read it and comment on it, to release the light novel that the public wants to make theirs.