Friday, November 6, 2009

New/Old Fandom and NaNoWriMo status report

PART THE FIRST: Rainbow Connection

Okay, right, so I'm one of those fans what jumped on a BANDwagon, so what else was new. I first heard of the existence of the by-now-LEGENDARY J-Rock group L'Arc~en~ciel in the early 2000s. The gateway was - you guessed it - Rurouni Kenshin. Of course I would have fallen in love not only with the generally pristine original story arcs, but also with the kickass OP and ED music. And my favorite out of the bunch was "The Fourth Avenue Cafe".

Alas, being naught but a broke kid struggling through university at the time, I could not afford to pursue my fan status any further than that - all I knew was that an amazing number of people LOVED Hyde, Tetsuya, Ken, and Yukihiro (well, it was Sakura banging the drums for the aforementioned single). I DID love "Spirit Dreams Inside" as well as, eventually, "Driver's High".

Then I fell casually into the Fullmetal Alchemist fandom and found out that L'Arc were back from hiatus and that they had contributed both OP and ED themes for the ill-fated movie. Of the two, I infinitely prefer "Lost Heaven". Have a video: a live version of the song, performed during the Awake Tour 2005:

- Is it wrong that the first thing I thought of when I saw Hyde was - WOW, they have really stripped down the stagewear? I'd been seeing lots of videos where they were really, REALLY dressed up to perform live on stage. Hats, layers of all sorts, strange shirt and coat combos, really wild hairstyles, I could go on and on. But look at them here! No sleeves, mostly black, and plain, body-skimming cuts. WOW awesome. The gear here really makes them look just that good.

- I...I can actually duplicate that eyeshadow Hyde's got on. Wow. And I'm NOT a dab hand at doing my eyes. He simplified his image but he still looks damn hot.

- My favorite part of the video is at 2:25 and the lyrics "akai hanataba wo". Yes, all he did was throw out his hand, but there is something beautiful in the clean, spare movement.

- Having heard the studio version of "Lost Heaven", I prefer this live one. This is because there is clearly no keyboardist on stage but you can hear the instrument being used: either the music was canned beforehand or the keyboard is being played behind the scenes. The added arrangement makes the song sound much better for me.

Yes, that ALSO happens to be my current Last Song Syndrome tune - so it is also quite naturally part of the current soundtrack to the November that is slowly changing my life, one day and 2000 words or so at a time.

PART THE SECOND: Five Days Into NaNo

As promised, here is the first of the four intended NaNoWriMo entries. Yesterday, five days into the journey, I managed to break through the first major psychological barrier between me and the end of the novel: my running word count is now at 11,547 words. Daily breakdown (date - total word count):

1 - 1963
2 - 4637
3 - 7340
4 - 9101
5 - 11547

I cannot believe I have actually been able to sustain the story for this long. Before I got the novel started, I had been plagued by fears that it would be a one-trick pony, or that the tale would be finished even before I clocked the first 5000 words. Apparently not.

And while I've been writing to the daily quota of 1667 words AND BEYOND, every day I have continued to receive new ideas for where the story could go. One of my secondary characters is already working his way up toward co-main-character status, since he's turning into a wonderful counterpoint for the lead character. It's amazing - I'm just taking dictation from him at this point.

Note to self 1: whether you finish this monster or not, there are now a few people you will need to show the novel to after the end. Start making that list.

Note to self 2: continue being paranoid as to the save status of the novel. Yes, it's in the cloud, but be paranoid anyway.

Note 3: yes, it has occurred to me that between the 2000 or so words that I try to put in for NaNo every day AND the writing work at the office AND the blog entries, I am actually doing up to 5000 words a day. This is an amazing thing for me.

Okay, back to "Sparta mode", as a few of my fellow NaNo-ers are calling it. Your regular programming resumes shortly (i.e. in the next post).

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