Yesterday I hit 50,000 words. I've still got a long way to go in the novel, but I think I'll take it a bit easier over the next few days. Last night I started working out the story I want to write for Eraserhead Press' New Bizarro Author Series. I'm taking two characters from Comarama, The Pilgrim and his pet spider Stinky, and I've started writing a story about those two characters in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. I picture it as sort of like a bizarro version of The Road, but I'm still working out how I want the plot to play out within this setting and with these characters. For the most part, I don't want it to be hilarious. I don't want it to be so strange it's funny. What I want is to be so strange yet through the story you grow attached to the pilgrim. I want you to read it and find yourself attached to a man whose best friend is his pet spider. I don't want to feel like I'm ripping off The Road too much, so I think the main challenge will be making the distinguishing features that bring my own story into fruition. I like the idea of maybe a disease spreading throughout the earth and killing everything.
It should be an interesting challenge. For starters, there is only one main human character, so there is very little need to talk. Of course, I'm going to go into the backstory, of the pilgrim living on his farm with his wife and child. Switching between that and his journey to find any sort of human colony yet unaffected by the disease and helping them rebuild society. At the moment it's not sounding incredibly over the top bizarro, but I've got a few elements planned out nicely that won't fall into the category of "weird for the sake of being weird" but will be weird to serve a purpose that progresses the story and has its own weird logic to it. I don't want to go into details too much at the moment, partly because I'm still working a lot of things out, but also partly because I don't want to reveal spoilers of those really intense plot-shifting moments that I hope I can properly execute.
Basically, out of this NaNoWriMo has come a jumble of chapters that are connected to some form of loose plot, although sometimes just doing things for the sake of it, and now, I'm thinking of refining it, and one of the stories that has come bits and pieces from NaNo has been The Pilgrim. Travelling through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the pilgrim searches for one of the last surviving colonies on earth.
I'm undecided as to whether there will be zombies or not. As with The Road, I think there needs to be clear-defining moments of something drastic happening. And I should stop now before I depress myself. I'd hate to think I'm just doing a Bizarro Road rip off. It's more like The Road meets Jack and the Giant Beanstalk maybe with some punk ass mother fuckers along the way.
So, yeah, finished NaNoWriMo in 21 days. But the novel is far from finished.