November has come and gone! While normally in November I’m wrapping stuff up for the year and doing holiday stuff, this year I decided to try my hand at NaNoWriMo, the annual writing competition to write a 50k novel in November (and where the visual novel community got part of the name for NaNoRenO in March).
I’d never tried NaNoWriMo before despite knowing of it for years, but this year I wanted to give it a shot. Writing has never come easy to me and with depression I find it hard to write much at any given time—I usually write by chipping away at my scripts rather than writing in sprints. However, with the motivation from other VN devs also attempting NaNo, I wanted to try it!
So, on November 1st I set out to write… 30k words! I have a full time job as well as freelance work so my time (and energy) is pretty limited, so I set my personal goal to be 1k a day for two different projects- Lost Lune and an unannounced script.
And after 30 days….
I hit the goal! I ended up writing about 30,960~ words in November for these two scripts, which is more than I usually write in half a year. I don’t have hard numbers for it but I’m also pretty sure this is the most I’ve ever written in one month. It’s much more than I ever thought I could do and I hope the final versions of these scripts will turn out great.
So where does that leave us with Lost Lune? Well, I ended up writing about 9.5k for the script – about 1/3rd of what the current script length is at now. The project is estimated to be around 50-60k, so it’s still got a while to go.
Lost Lune is structured differently from my other visual novels. As the story is about the main character Weiss trying to find their partner Klaus after he goes missing, the VN swaps between present time and past time to show what their relationship was (though we all know what it was).
I found myself getting lost in the weeds of the story when trying to write it like my other scripts—that is, writing them in order of how the player will see them rather than purely chronologically—so I went back to start writing it chronologically, starting from Weiss meets Klaus. All of my writing in November was for this part, after Weiss and Klaus have met but are still not on perfect terms and growing from that.
I’ve realized that a core component of how I write romance is based on misconceptions. I feel like most relationships are based off of misconceptions about who the other person is and depending on how these misconceptions get resolved determines how the relationship grows. Whenever we meet someone or hear about someone, we create a mental image of them in our heads. This mental image is never correct—it’s based off of assumptions we’ve made from their appearance, from what we’ve heard about them, and more. As we get to know the person better, those misconceptions either become corrected or become reinforced. Sometimes we realize immediately that we made false assumptions and the person is not what we assumed. Sometimes we end up thinking worse of a person based on false assumptions before later realizing these were misconceptions.
To me, it’s crucial to clear up these misconceptions about each other when writing romance. Weiss and Klaus start off on bad terms, not trusting or even liking each other. A majority of the later sections of the story—which is the beginning of their relationship—is about the two of them having to grow to trust one another and toss aside those false assumptions. I’m being pretty vague here for spoiler reasons as how they met is a major spoiler, but I hope it’ll make more sense in the game. Basically, I feel like the core of my romances is two people overcoming their false assumptions of each other to grow closer and gain a better understanding of the other person.
Sorry I don’t have any new visuals this time as all of my progress for Lost Lune this month was for writing, but I hope it was interesting nonetheless!
Next month I’ll have more visual progress—I can’t wait to show off what I’ve been working on.