The Novel

Day 6. I should reach the 10,000-word mark today, but I’m still at 5,000 and now my eyes are too tired to continue writing. I’ve reached the third chapter. I’m slightly panicked cos a couple of participants are even at 20k mark already. Even Norfy already has almost 6k words and she only started a few days ago. I’m slacking a lot.

Right now, my (soon to be) novel is talking about the main character’s first practice for the upcoming independence day ceremony. The funny thing is when I looked at my phone, an old friend from high school had left a message. We used to practice together for such events. I couldn’t help smiling because I’m writing about him. About me. About them. About all of us. Do they know that I’m writing about what we used to have together? Do they know how much an impression they have left on me? Do they know that I even wrote a song for them?

The friends brothers and sisters I’d made from Paskibra, I can never really explain how we share our relationship. Often I try to explain it to others, but they won’t get it. It feels almost like a real family. I can’t call them my family, cos obviously, they’re not. But I can’t call them my best friends either, cos they’re more than that.

They’re my family at school. They’re my lifetime friends. They’re my soulmates. One of them even took the great step to be my love though we didn’t last, but it was still nice. They’re my inspiration. They were everything. Mostly the reason I choose to write about them is cos I want the world to understand. Or no, maybe it’s because I want to understand how this inexplicable bond could ever exist.

Here, have an excerpt:

“Saya akan berikan satu gelas air ini kepada kalian. Bagaimanapun caranya, satu gelas air ini harus habis dan tidak ada satupun dari kalian yang tidak kebagian.”

Keengganan mengerang dari mulut siswa kelas X yang berada di lapangan. Rata-rata alasannya adalah karena jijik.

“Kalau kalian tidak mau minum, ya sudah.”

Protes makin kencang berkumandang di lapangan.

“Dibiasakan, dik,” papar Linda. “Waktu satu setengah bulan itu tidak cukup untuk menjadikan kalian sebuah pasukan yang satu hati. Sedangkan untuk dapat mengibarkan bendera nanti, kalian harus kompak. Mulailah dengan air mineral ini.”

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NaNoWriMo Hiatus

All NaNoWriMo tips say that the first thing you must do is to tell the world that you’re doing NaNoWriMo for the whole month. So here I go. I’m doing NaNoWriMo, so please excuse me if I’m unavailable most of the time, or if I come crying with my hair on its end cos I can’t seem to get off my writer’s block. I will still be available on email, so please, if you really need to contact me, email me. Only important emails will be replied. Other than that, expect a reply in December.

Now the hardest thing is, I was going to go on a twitter hiatus too, but ugh, today Sasha and I just came up with an awesome idea and we’re thinking of turning it into a legitimate project. How am I going to go on a virtual hiatus if I have an exciting project to brainstorm over? Priorities, I can’t seem to set them right at the moment.

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Starting NaNoWriMo For Real

So it’s been a couple of years I failed to participate in NaNoWriMo. Last year was because I was busy with my thesis. The year before was because I was late, I just found out about the awesome writing month. This year, I’m gonna do my best to keep up.

I decided to work on the ideas that I’ve been having for a very long time instead of creating something new. After turning my old drafts upside down, I found two drafts that I thought were decent for the writing challenge. One is a fantasy fiction, the other is some kind of slice of life. I’m honestly not too sure about the genre of the latter. I made simple synopsis and outlines for both story ideas and compared them. I concluded that both stories were quite hard to finish in one month time, especially the fantasy one.

For the fantasy one, I have the plot outlined pretty clear, but I still worry about the magic system and the world building. I will need a long time to create them. As for the slice of life one, it’s very simple, but I’m worried if it’s able to reach the 50,000 word count. In the end, I asked Sasha to choose. She chose the fantasy one. OTL

However, I didn’t feel confident at all to write the fantasy one with only a short span of time to build the world and prepare the magic system (though what I have in mind is actually pretty simple). And I’ve always felt strongly anyway about the slice of life one. I’ve been having the idea of the story since I was in high school and I really want to write it down. Mostly because I haven’t found any other Indonesian novels that talk about similar topic, and I want to introduce such topic, to make people more familiar with it.

Here is the synopsis of the story I’m going to write for this year’s NaNoWriMo:

Paskibra bukanlah kegiatan ekstrakurikuler yang menarik bagi murid-murid SMA Harapan Indonesia. Tidak ada yang mau menghabiskan waktu sepulang sekolah berjemur di bawah terik sinar matahari dan dibentak oleh senior-senior yang tidak kenal ampun. Namun bagi Dania, Petra, Tiraz, dan Vio, Paskibra merupakan rumah, sebuah keluarga yang tidak pernah mereka punya. Keempat murid baru tersebut hanya ingin berada, merasa diterima. Sayangnya tidak semudah itu untuk dilantik menjadi anggota Paskibra SMA Harapan Indonesia.

My only worry is that the story is going to be boring, when all I want is to let people know how exciting Paskibra can be, including all the drama and the pride. I want to let them know that Paskibra is not all about getting tanned under the sun or being yelled at by non-sensible seniors, there is more. A lot more, that you have to be in it to know it.

The original plot I set down for this story experienced a major change as I made an adjustment to make it more appealing to more readers. The original plot was made when I was a teenager anyway, emo and just so angry at the world. The original plot sucked LOL I think I’m ready to write it. To meet the 50,000 word requirement, I have to write at least 1,700 words per day during the whole November. I decided to make a new tag solely for NaNoWriMo, so that I can update my progress and discuss it with whoever is interested. Maybe if I let it out in the open for discussion, I will be more motivated to finish it. After all, it’s been gathering dust for seven years. I have to finish this story.

Wish me luck!

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