I’ve just completed week one of my first NaNoWriMo. So far it has been fantastic. I’ve had one of the best weeks I’ve had in a long time. I’m getting a lot of writing done, and loving every minute of it. I am not sure about the quality of what I’ve written, though I have had a few sections that caused me to say in amazement, “I wrote that?” That’s usually a good sign. After 7 full days, my word count is at 19,069. I’m ahead of schedule, and glad to have the cushion in case something unexpected happens, like maybe 8 consecutive hours of sleep. But one concern has been dawning in my mind.
I think my characters might be vampires.
I’m not writing them to be vampires. They don’t have pointy teeth used to pierce the tender skin of their unsuspecting victims. They don’t drink blood. They don’t sleep in coffins. They don’t turn into bats. They don’t have supernatural powers (yet?). And they certainly don’t sparkle in the sunlight, although I’m not entirely sure how I know this because there is precious little sunlight in their world. In that world, the world of their story, they are decidedly not vampires.
However, in my world, they are exhibiting some very vampire-like behavior.
They only come out at night. Every day this week, I came home from work ready to dive right in, in the hopes that I might get my words in and still manage to catch the elusive 8-hours of sleep mentioned above. But no matter how hard I try, there is just no finding them until all has gone dark and still. And then they sneak up on me and attack me with unexpected plot or character points in the dark.
They are mysteriously alluring, but deceitful and secretive. They entice me with promises of excitement and adventure, but then corner me in a long stretch of potentially boring dialogue and dare me to make it interesting. All the while, they keep the whole truth of their story veiled in mystery and maddeningly out of reach. When I get close to the heart of their story, they block me cruelly. When I try to forge ahead and write through the block, they transform every thought into mindless drivel.
They distract me. Their hold on me begins to cause me to neglect my housework: dishes in the sink go unwashed, the carpets go unvacuumed, and my animals are not getting enough attention. Strider has mats in his beard that will probably require either a chainsaw or a professional to remove. Luna will tell you I forget to feed her and she’s starving. That at least will be a lie. But she will try to tell you and you will find her cute meows and soft nuzzles compelling. I find myself day dreaming of them when I’m supposed to be requesting an exhibit or submitting a lease request. They consume my every waking thought.
Finally, they are turning me into a vampire. With each passing day under their thrall, I see more and more of the night and start to resist the day. When the light rises in the morning, all I want to do is pull the covers over my head and hide from it. Then again, that may have more to do with the aforementioned lack of 8-hours than any significant transformation on my part.
And now night has fallen. The darkness is closing in and I am called back to the story.