National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has begun. You know, where you write a novel in a month? So this is day three and I have already accrued over 5600 words. So long as I write at least 1700 words a day I cannot fail.
The first day was tough. ‘Where do I start?’ was the first crucial question. Do I start at the end of the chronology stuck in my head—you see, the gist of the story exists as preconceived events in my noggin—or do I slip right back to the early days of my two favourite protagonists? It’s a difficult decision to juggle because in this challenge once I commit there is no turning back. I made a decision and I have stuck with it.
The ideas that have gone into my story are a culmination of concepts and worldbuilding from previous attempts and experiments from over four years ago. I said to myself that I wanted a lead character that relies on wit and intelligence rather than weapons and violence to solve everything (Doctor Who inspired hero?). Unfortunately, this novel has taken a very different turn to what I originally intended. I wanted a kid-friendly romp instead my characters’ voices have demanded brutal action that caters for a niche of horror and SF fans (bye, bye, Young Adult pigeonhole).
It is interesting to consider the notion that some characters write themselves. Well, they don’t because the writer does that. The character demands situations that feel right to them. After spending some time with Lancerroth, a tragic and devious sod, I quickly realised that his agenda is so ambitious and dangerous that he sometimes acts on a whim and does things that I detest. Nasty things. Lance is a horrible being; he is not someone I would aspire to be or someone I would be able to share a meal with at the dinner table. He is the product of a society that literally burnt him and left him scarred. It was a miracle he survived his youth and as an older man he treats life as a joke.
Sameera, on the other hand, was intended to be a brainwashed killer from her very creative conception. From a very young age she was inducted/conscripted into a cult where the flesh was augmented with glass and ‘stuff’ to produce a pretty and nasty agent of destruction. Think Wolverine only instead of adamantium claws she has glass needles that can shoot out of her wrists! I have seen many iterations of ‘Sameera’ in my writing and I think I have struck a good balance between naivety and physical ability. Obviously, at least to me, she is not superhuman, quite the contrary. I think it’s interesting to explore the flaws of a character that has been made to believe that she is superior. One flaw being the consequences of a modified body, the agony …
So here I have two hardcore characters destined to collide. Their meeting might be a little forced because of how the story is unfolding however that is not too important for a first draft (or is it?). I am excited to finally get this story out of my head and into a Word document.