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T Minus Two

It's October 30th, the day before Halloween. I've managed to reach my goal of finishing a book translation within one month, typing nearly 123,000 words. So the typing isn't the biggest concern for November's NaNoWriMo. (Although my wrists and hands kind of are...)

The past week or so I've been trying to develop the story that's sprung up a few weeks earlier. I'm settled on my main character, although at first she was a sixteen-year-old and a week later I wondered if I shouldn't make her twentysomething or even early thirties. Right now she's back to being a teenager again. But now that that's settled...

... the "big thing" that is supposed to be going on with her manages to remain an elusive concept. Yes, I can give her certain abilities or powers that may or may not prove to be paranormal. The question that I can't seem to answer, however, is: what is she going to do with these abilities?

Why does she have clairvoyance or clairaudience or whatever I finally settle on? What good does it do her to have it? Does it do her any good, or does it only get in her way? Is there a reason for these powers to manifest - is she supposed to do something with it?

What keeps going through my head is this:
- Whatever I come up with, is bound to have been done before
- Whatever is up with my protagonist must be spectacular or special enough to carry at least one entire plot.

In other words: if I give this girl these abilities, to what end do I do that? Will she prove to be the Chosen One who must Save The World and Protect Mankind against Evil Influences? My capitalisation should suggest how seriously I take those concepts. There isn't a book or tv show that doesn't feature The One who is tasked with saving all of mankind by his or her lonesome.

So, fine, unless I can make that stick in away that I believe it, my main character won't be The Key that can avoid the earth's annihilation if only she puts on the right shoes. Which brings me back to the question: why? What is going on with her and why is that even interesting? Does it need to include a grand scale to be interesting, or can it be small and contained in daily life to still carry an entire plot?

More importantly: with November being only two days away (one-and-a-half), should I already have figured this all out by now?

In Translation


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