What am I doing for Camp NaNoWriMo?

Honestly, I completely forgot about Camp NaNoWriMo until I got an email about it a few days ago. I’ve been so busy these past few months that I haven’t had the time to even think about any writing events.

I’m going to continue working on the same thing I’ve been working on since last November: the remainder of the Samael outline. At the beginning of the year, I hoped I’d be done with it by now so I could move on to actual writing. Now I’m hoping that I’ll have the outline done by the end of April.

I don’t have any plans other than that. 20,000 words.

The problems with relatability

Relatability is a word I see a lot when people talk about writing fiction – specifically, how to create relatable characters with relatable goals, personalities, motives, wants, needs, etc.

I don’t think this is the right thing to focus on. I care much more about if a character’s motivations or whatever are realistic with regards to that character’s personality & background. Relatability is simply not something that crosses my mind.

I think a large part of the problem is that relatability isn’t a universal thing like it’s talked about being. There is no set standard of things that everyone will identify with. Different people care about different things.

It sounds obvious when I put it like that, but I’m not sure it’s acknowledged and understood all that well.

What is and isn’t considered relatable is largely manufactured by majority populations. I’ve seen plenty of media with minority characters criticized solely for not propping up the majority 100% of the time. Apparently, whites can’t “relate” to Asians, Christians can’t “relate” to Muslims, heterosexuals & cisgenders can’t “relate” to queer people, men can’t “relate” to women – as if whites, Christians, heterosexuals, and men were all universal and special enough that everyone could simply find them relatable.

Being a majority is an excuse for a lot of people to act like they’re the center of the universe, I guess.

I think the concept of relatability is used largely to create and prop up media that is fundamentally unchallenging in most aspects. It encourages majority populations to not to look beyond the (typically fairly narrow) worldviews they grew up with, and instead bolsters and enables their own sense of self-importance. A change to the status quo – like adding a woman or queer person or ethnic minority to a long-running media franchise – is a threat to that self-importance. It’s why minority characters get hit with the “unrelatable” label, while majorities don’t.

I write science fiction. Speculative fiction. Fantasy. Why would I want to create something that isn’t challenging? Why would I want to write majoritarian propaganda?

Writers. Artists. Creators. Reject relatability and all the nonsense that comes with it, please.

An update on my writing crisis

Long story short, there really isn’t a crisis anymore. I’ve simply decided to ignore the problem of genre and write whatever I want to write.

Honestly, I’ve been too busy this past month with non-writing things to worry about writing. I haven’t even had the time to actually write anything. I suppose this is a good thing, since I’m focusing on “actual” problems in my life.

I’m sorry that this update is so short, but I literally have nothing else to say!

Writing Update: February 2022

It’s been a busy month…for work, not creative things.

I finished outlining issue 13 of Samael and started outlining issue 14. I am about halfway through it at the moment and am thinking through the next things that need to happen in order to continue the plot. I think, if I have the time to sit down and write for even just an hour, I could have that issue outlined by the end of the weekend.

For about two months, I’ve had the beginnings of another story bouncing around my head. I’ve written down some preliminary notes, but I doubt I’ll start work on it anytime soon.

I still have not had the time to do any actual writing.

Writing Update: January 2022

I’ve decided to start a new series of posts called “Writing Update”, where I talk about what I’ve been up to, writing-wise, during the month. I’ve never done this regularly, so I’m hoping it will provide a little bit of reflection on my own work and process.

Writing is not going very well, as you may have assumed from my previous post about my writing crisis. Aside from not being inspired, I’ve also been busy with mandatory overtime at my day job. It’s been difficult to find time to write even during free time at home. All I want to do is relax.

I finished outlining Samael issue 12 this month, and am about halfway through outlining issue 13. I really wanted to get issue 13 done this month, but then all of the above happened. My February goal is to finish the outline for issue 13 and start on issue 14.

I haven’t had the time to do any actual writing! Back in December, I told myself I’d get the Samael outline done by the end of the year – then I could get back to writing. That obviously didn’t happen, but I still do have the same goal of getting the outline done before I start up writing again. Hopefully that will happen before the beginning of April so I can get back to writing prose for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo session.