Why my NaNoWriMo is about werewolves, and why that’s awesome.
Every year my NaNoWriMo tends to be a horror story based on that year’s Halloween obsession. It’s just what I do. I skipped NaNoWriMo 2011 because of graduate school, but the year before that I wrote a werewolf story. Inspired by Vicious, an historical account of the eradication of North American wolves, it was a pleasure to write. Although the narrator/protagonist was not a werewolf, my writing focused consistently on the werewolf anti-hero.
I was engrossed by the existentialism inherent in the motives of a werewolf.
It also doesn’t help that the literary traditions behind classic monsters fascinate me. I live for in depth analysis of the media, and these movie monsters are especially fun to deconstruct. The werewolf presented another enticing situation: a movie monster who has not been explored to it’s full potential.
Zombies and Vampires are about a fear of an other, but Werewolves are about our fear of ourselves. They sometimes represent the devastation we’ve done to the environment, but they always address the monster we all have the potential to be. Werewolves are unable to censor themselves, and through them we see a terrifyingly uncensored version of our lizard brains. Our pre-frontal lobe is what separates us from animals, but we still have that animal brain under layers of grey matter. That is the terrifying truth behind the werewolf. Think of all everything you could explore in a werewolf story! Despite all of this literary potential, written word on werewolves is incredibly sparse.
My plan this NaNoWriMo? I’m going to write an anthology of werewolf stories exploring different aspects of werewolves, especially existentialism. Each story will be about a different person coping with their curse, with people coming to different conclusions about themselves. Unexplained actions by werewolves (since they won’t all be main characters) will force the reader to think about the nature of humanity. The reader will gradually discover that these are werewolves, with the truth being revealed four or so stories in. When they first see the beast, I want them to look back on people in the previous story with new context.
Plus, I think writing short stories will make NaNoing easier.