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  • Writer's pictureNate

NaNoWriMo and Twilight of the Gods

The whole Elyden project began over 12-years ago now. I was unemployed and between writing campaign settings for my group I started writing a story with no plot or design. 12 years later, I find myself here, with lots of lore and maps and worldbuilding, but very little in terms of fiction. I know most of my patrons and followers are mostly interested in the maps for personal use, eschewing my locations and lore, and reskinning them, so-to-speak, for their own projects. Nothing wrong with that. It’s only a very small number who follow the lore and an even smaller number who actually game in the world (you know who you are and you have my truest gratitude for this - it really means more than you can think to know that there are people using this world).

Regardless, my perspective shifted as the Patreon became bigger and I gave myself a posting schedule to make sure I don’t procrastinate, which was absolutely the right thing to do for my productivity - I’m sure I’d have half the maps I have done now if I hadn’t done this.

However, it does mean that my writing has taken a back seat to the worldbuilding and cartography, both of which started as tools for the writing. Funny how things work out the way they do!

I’m thinking about taking part in NaNoWriMo again this year. For those who don’t know it’s a yearly charity writing ‘challenge’ (the name is short for National November Writing Month) and it’s all about getting as many letters down on the page as possible. I had taken part a couple of years in a row, a long time ago, and managed to write a finished first draft for Twilight of the Gods one year and a large chunk of its sequel the next year. I printed a few copies of that first draft of Twilight of the Gods and gave them to friends and family for feedback, getting some very helpful, constructive feedback, which led to a planned rewrite, changing some locations (mostly a cosmetic change due to my continued worldbuilding) and redoing the entire 2nd act (far from a cosmetic change, as the middle dragged on and needed some urgency). Much of the story needs to be rewritten in some way or another. Whether because I feel I’ve outgrown the style of the first draft; or because I now know a lot more about the world; or because having reread it after letting the story rest for some years, I just want to change some things about it. I’ve been putting this rewrite off for too many years now partially because I’m just a big old procrastinator, and also because my Patreon has made me commit to drawing maps in a way that I hadn’t intended 5 years ago. Not that I'm complaining, but the commitments of having to create x content in x time frame means my time to devote to writing (let alone revising and editing, which is a lot harder to do) is limited.

I’m trying to get a few maps ready to post on schedule, so that I can have a month to spare, dedicated to the writing. Hopefully I’ll manage. Next week’s map is close to ready and the following map (#50) is a remake of the very first Atlas Map I made 3 years ago that’s been done for a while. I was hoping to have the Make the Nation map done soon, but I feel as though that needs more time to get done as I want to get the community involved as much as possible.

If I’m able to do this I’ll spend a month writing and revising, with the aim of getting Twilight of the Gods closer to completion. The novel’s main character is the manumitted clone soldier Slaven, and I already have some short stories and a novella surrounding him uploaded here, so that’s a great chance to get a flavour for the character.

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