Sunday October 31st, 2010

The exercise:

Happy Halloween!

NaNoWriMo begins in... just under six hours for me. Woo!

So the final countdown day's prompt shall be the working title of my novel to be: the jester's journey. Feel free to incorporate Halloween themes into your writing.


After working on Lessons in the Dust last year, an admittedly dark and at times depressing story, I wanted to change things up this November. I decided at the outset I wanted to go third-person instead of first and, more importantly, to tell a more lighthearted and (hopefully) funny tale.

This proved to be a rather major pain in the ass. Last year I had an idea that was bouncing around my head for months and finally had an outlet when November came. No such ideas existed this time around. Which meant I not only had to come up with a storyline, but it also had to fit the above guidelines. I was actually starting to get a bit worried until this jester and his silly journey finally formed.

I have a basic outline of what I want to happen, fully expecting that a lot of it won't end up happening. But I'm open to whatever comes and interested in seeing how it turns out.

Oh yeah, that little announcement I was alluding to the last few days? You'll get to see it as it's written, in all it's (mostly) unedited glory, as I'll be posting it over here on Protagonize. When I'm done writing for the day, I'll post what I've written and update the first chapter with any thoughts I might have on how things are going, any particular struggles I met that day, etc. Sort of like a novel writing diary. And I'll be tracking my word count over there as well.

This is probably a bit crazy. And almost certainly stupid. But I'm doing it anyway. So please feel free to follow along as me and my jester go on our journey for the next thirty days.


Greg said...

It'll be interesting, I think, to see how you feel about the results from this year and last when we reach December: if the idea that had been germinating for longer was easier or harder to write. However, I also think it says something fairly significant that this time you're putting the story up for everyone to see (might I suggest, if you haven't already, that you turn comments on it off till after November as comments will only have you second-guessing yourself and slow you down?).
As you've probably already noticed, I'm not signed up for NaNoWriMo, and I just can't find the time for it this year. Between work and home obligations I can't even expect the half-hour each morning I used last year to write! I'll follow yours along though :)

The Jester's Journey
There it was in the library, right next to Pilgrim's Progress.
"The Jester's Journey," whispered Professor Guildenstern reverently. "The book most often cited by super-villains as their reason for turning to crime."
She lifted it off the shelf with shaking hands, and caressed it's paste-board cover. There had been a dust-jacket but it had rotted long ago and now there were just paper tatters clinging to it, colours dull and faded.
"But who wrote it?" she whispered again, the fires of revenge burning in her eyes and heart. This book had created the monster the newspapers called Cobra Kate and she intended to hunt the author down and kill them. Especially since she'd unmasked Cobra Kate in public, in full view of the television cameras, and only then discovered that Cobra Kate was... her mother.

Zhongming said...

Marc – great! Sounds like we are going on a roller coaster with jester and his journey! Can’t wait to see that exciting plot of the journey!

Greg – I laugh real hard after reading yours, damn funny! Excellent take on the prompt!

The Jester's Journey

What is going to happen if Jester were to get lost in his journey? Are you going to be responsible for that?

“You must be joking” the man in Armani spectacle laughs aloud with his eyes barely opened.

“What? Isn’t that supposed to be a joke? Are you telling me that he lost his way?” he put both hands on his stomach, lean forward with his head facing the ground, and his laughter was beyond funny. People that surround him laugh as hard as he was when they hear his laughter.

No way! That has to be the best joke of the year! A Jester went missing… stop fooling around or I won’t be able to close my mouth.

summerfield said...

marc, i don't really know a thing about jesters and kings and knights, so i'm just winging everything here these days. but, count on me to give you moral support. i'm with greg about the "comment" thingie.

greg, very intriguing story.

zhongming, nice.


“Where have you been, Fool?” the Queen asks, visibly pissed that it has taken Fool the whole day to come back from running an errand. “You had better have a good reason for taking this long, or I’ll have your head cut off this very minute.” She wags an index finger in front of Fool’s face.

“Your Majesty, I am terribly sorry.” Fool’s tears roll down his cheeks, smudging the heavy makeup and runny snot makes his red foam nose to sag. “But, I got lost in the maze downstairs trying to find the Royal Burger Vendor."

"Get hold of yourself! For heaven's sakes, you're supposed to make me laugh, not make me pissed!" Queenie rolls her eyes and blows an errant wisp of hair, slumps on her golden throne and motions for her maid to massage her temple.

"Got lost in the maze, holy God! How did you get lost, tell me!" she demands, impatiently tapping her fingers on the arm of the throne.

"Well, Your Majesty, first, I saw Cook and he sent me to the market to get onions for your salad. Then I saw the Prince and he asked me to take his horse to the horsesmith. Then I saw the Bishop and he reminded me that I missed Church last Sunday and I explained to him that I was sick last Sunday so he made me attend a Special Service. Then I saw the Princess and she asked me to go and tell her lover who lives in next village to meet her at the stable." Fool stops to blow his nose and the red foam nose fell on the marbled steps of the platform going up to the Queen's throne. He was about to continue his story but Queen stops him.

"You obeyed those people of no importance and yet you made me wait for the one thing I asked you to do?" She snaps her fingers and two guards appear before her.

"Get this Fool out of my sight, and have him beheaded right away," she commands.

"Waaaaah!" Fool wails like a child whose ice cream has fallen off his cone. The guards carry him away.

"Can't I get a better performing jester than that one? All he does is wail all the time. He depresses me!"

"Them jesters are hard to come by these days, aren't they, m'lady?" the maid says. "Why, that's the third one this week you've had beheaded!"

"I would really have to resort to drastic measures to amuse meself!" Queenie lets herself slide off the throne onto the floor.

"And what is that, m'lady?"

"Get a television and watch soaps, I suppose!"

"Oh," maid gets excited. "You mean we're getting cable!"

Marc said...

Greg - that's a good point. We'll see how it turns out, I suppose :)

And Protag doesn't have an option to turn off comments, though I'm not sure I would if I could. I expect most of the comments to be supportive anyway.

I seem to recall you saying that last year, and then you did it anyway. So we'll see :)

I'm not sure that's the legacy I'm hoping my book will leave behind but... I think I'd take it anyway :P

Zhongming - thanks for the encouraging words. And great take on the prompt!

Summerfield - well then, you're winging it very well :)

That ending was fantastic, the final line in particular. Very funny :)

Heather said...

My internet died last night. It wasn't resurrected until this afternoon. Yet another pitiful excuse for not leaving individual comments.

I liked how everyone's responses were different. Well done la gente!

The King and Queen would accept nothing but the best, their desire to out shine their newly won subjects higher than their senses. The subjects, he knew, would be sequestered against their will and required to pay homage with bended knee and bowed head before all their dead were laid to rest. In the midst of their mourning, it would be his job as jester to illicit smiles and laughter from the downtrodden crowd. So, he'd planned how he would end the Winter Festival at Sarah Lucia's vast garden estates with great care.

The dinner bell rang in the dark and bitter cold night as he donned his evening's attire. It was a new suit he'd had made just for the event. Two tailor's took part, each a different portion. Then, he had personally sewn those two pieces together to ensure the surprise kept.

Quietly he made his way to the stairs that lead to the narrow balcony that over looked the great room. There, he draped a banner heavily over his neck and whispered a prayer. Looking over the crowd, he heard the forced gaiety floating up to him like notes of music.

"Beautiful ladies and even prettier gents," he called clearly and loudly to the crowd below. Eyes followed the sound of his voice. He paused until all rested solely upon him. "For your evenings pleasure or displeasure," he said gesturing gallantly as he placed his feet on the narrow banister, "I invite you to take a journey with me."

Gasps echoed off the walls as he flipped over the balcony. His body dangled several feet off the floor, his neck held firmly by the noose he'd woven into the ends of the banner. A few kicks and he ceased to fight.

The banner fell limply from his body. STAND UP AND FIGHT. DEATH IS A WELCOME FREEDOM UNDER THIS REIGN, it said.

Far from what I would call good writing. All well!

Marc said...

Heather - ah, I'd wondered where you'd gone. Sorry to hear about your connections untimely demise, though I'm pleased it was resurrected.

Very unexpected ending, and beautifully executed as well. Er, was that a pun? Pardon it if it was.