Once, there was a wannabe Wrimo. This wannabe Wrimo had for many years taken the hero’s journey into the fantasy Realm of NaNo.
For those not in the know, this Realm appeared horrifically, just after Halloween time – or magically, just before Christmas time, or within a lightshow, just around Diwali; depending on how you felt about it.
And so came another NaNo, and another pilgrimage for the wannabe WriMo.
Now, the Realm of NaNo was a world of hurt and joy, hope and dissatisfaction, a test of endurement and a self-torture of the mind and body. Yet this wannabe Wrimo, like half a million other foolish believers, still would enter the portal between worlds knowing this.
Some of those wannabe Wrimos entered with survival gear readied – prep-work to map their journeys and thick all-over outlines to provide cover for their bodies of work.
Some of those wannabe Wrimos preferred a random approach, guided along only by their pants, with hopes they would not become lost in the fantasy woods in only their underwear.
No matter which, many of those journeymen writers did not survive the NaNo.
This too, is known.
The wannabe Wrimo, the one we are concerned with in this tale, had devised over several successful quest years her own hybrid methods for procuring her annual survival and success.
She would plot an outline map – but not too much. She would play God to create people for her map – but not too much. She would play Devil to create war and plagues of conflict upon those people – but not too much. This would be enough to get her through the NaNo portal. And then she would most probably lose her map and spend time wandering, enjoying the scenery.
She would also call upon the superpowers of hashtag – of #writefast, #writedirty and #amwriting. Sadly #amediting was not in her superpower arsenal, so this too would lead her to further torture later on, but loh – for the treasures and wealth of NaNo she would make that sacrifice, just as others seeking the title of Wrimo would also.
All of this, she knew and accepted of her upcoming quest.
Ah, but our wannabe Wrimo did not know everything, how could she?
Surprises must always come to the overconfident returned hero, else how could they conquer anything? A hero must not have an easy journey, for there’s no story in that. Each must have both a physical and emotional arc. And so, this year was foretold to be different.
And it thus became so:-
The map-making faltered. She lost her mojo-magic drawing pens a week before the portal opened, and the map was only half-done. Her God-like powers of creation also left her too early, and she was without backstory. And her hashtag superpowers were ruled for usage only on the quest itself. And no true hero would ever consider cheating.
But our wannabe was not conquered (mostly) by this, she was no charlatan Mary Sue hero. Thus her incomplete prep work would have to do. The rest of the map would draw itself as she walked the Realm of NaNo for 50K (or 31.06 imperial miles). Yes, it would have to do. The journey would continue.
But then, as with any good tale of a heroic journey, the universal tale would/must add one final massive turning point, indeed the point of no return. More teething problems were ordered. And this would finally became obvious for our wannabe Wrimo, thus allowing her to accept the call for portal entry, enter the Realm of fun and games and fight towards a climax. Or not, if she preferred.
The anti was upped, the tension increased, the plot arc raised. An inciting incident laid down.
So in-your-face! were the signs that finally the wannabe Wrimo got a literal kick in them. Teeth that is. And a half-done emergency root canal, scheduled for completion inside the NaNo woods became the message from the Realm which she could no longer blindeye.
It had taken three years of NaNo to get this literal message. Three years to see that root canals in November are the done thing, the penance of NaNo for this particular wannabe. It was either this, NaNo screamed, or have no teeth. This was the trial she must undergo, nevermind the lack of prep. And to make doubly sure she understood, the universe passed down double-root canals for this journey.
To pass the trail and hold onto the title, our wannabe would have to write guided mostly by her underwear, around literal teething problems, and slumber away in the drug-induced numbness she allowed herself in between the day’s journey. She would have to embrace mentors #writefast and others, make use of sidekicks, and partake of many jellies and soft foods along the way.
With this knowledge came acceptance. And so it would be. The wannabe Wrimo got ready, sporting swollen gums as a badge of honour, a dusty super-cape, and a quarter-plot.
And soon she would enter. In her pants. But with teeth at least.