Technically, Sunday was the one-week-in point for NaNoWriMo, but I was busy, tired, et cetera. Then Monday I was at work all day for a mind-numbing six hours of computer training modules in which I learned all the OSHA nonsense that doesn’t apply to me at all, all the dos and don’ts of selling alcohol and tobacco – which I won’t be doing at all because Electronics is simply not allowed to ring those up, and a depressing amount of propaganda regarding the company’s history and Corporate Jesus of choice.
Seriously. I don’t care who you are. The owner-operator of a chain of grocery stores is not equivalent to Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. Nor is it OK to put his color picture next to their black and white ones as though he is actually better and more prominent. Good company it may be, but pioneering the “super-center” concept is not on the same level as outlawing slavery and fighting for human rights.
Nor did I miss that puerile attempt to liken him to King Solomon in that insipid little “quotable quotes” book full of “his” sayings (seriously generic nonsense spouted by everyone who ever owned a company in American history) interspersed with Proverbs.
That idiocy might work on your normal drink-the-Koolaid employees, but I’m a writer, goddammit! I see through your bullshit.
Anyway. I made good headway on the sequel in the first week as I massively re-wrote the handful of chapters I had written just after finishing the first novel and then started in on the new stuff, and my first week word count puts me at 21, 217 words into what will probably wind up about 90-100,000 words for the second of two Unknown books.
While it has been suggested I might finish and decide to go make it a trilogy, I probably won’t. I always had a plan for two books about this guy and the truth of it is that he’s just not a character built for a long-haul. I suppose at best I could put down a prequel series of short stories about his life before even the first novel, but that wouldn’t make it a trilogy either.
So why two?
I like even numbers. I like dualism and balance. I like to tear a character down to nothing and build them back up again. I’m too lazy to plot an enormous series, or my brain just prefers not to dwell on the same story for too long. Take your pick. Whatever it is, there are too many reasons to really lay out. I’ve just always had this plan and this feeling that his was a two-book tale of sacrifice and redemption.
There’s surely a bit of the pulp in the Unknown, of course, and I know he’ll pop up from time to time in short stories (have two with him so far) or take on a new form as I reach further and further into the deep-time plotting of his world in general, but the story of the man himself isn’t nearly as grand as the mythos that grows up around him.
Isn’t that always the case?
So, here I sit on my day off between yesterday’s grueling exercise in bullshit-tolerance and tomorrow’s fun-filled sojourn into “register training” that promises to drive the stake a little deeper into my soul, staring at a blank line and wondering where we’re going next.
I probably won’t churn out another 21k in the next week, because working is going to severely cut into my prime writing hours (after tomorrow I go on 6pm-2am through the holidays), but I’m sure the Unknown and I can blow that 50k NaNoWriMo goal out of the water anyway.
He’s a wordy son of a bitch, and I just listen and write it all down.