Thursday, August 19, 2010

Growing Pains?

I've been going through piles and piles of notes on my story (Where Loyalties Lie).

It began in February 2005 with a scene with Rackbrier. Since then it has seriously been all over the place. Literally the only names and characters that have staid the same are Emerald and Kadit. Both of these characters are now minor.

The Setting

I won't try to describe many of the interesting pictures of despair I've described over the years...We just won't go there. The main theme is its raining.

I have a hundred maps. Yesterday I sat down and made one that went along with the current story and plot.

As far as time period. Yikes! When I started that first scene with Rackbrier the feel was sort of Revolutionary War/1812 sorta thing...except wait! At the end of the third scene he puts on heavy armor and a claymore!
It fairly quickly changed to medieval. Then back to 1812. Then back to medieval. Then to the 1950s!
Today it's back to Revolutionary War/1812 sorta thing.
Still only single fire guns and knives and swords/sabers are still more applicable.

Still doing research on clothing and weaponry for this era.


I'm now counting on the before unheard of, Ramirez Delamare (once Ramriez Kenzel) and Lilly Ephramean (once Lilly Ceeza) as my POV characters.

My first writings were totally omniscient. Then I tried third person but did a lot of head jumping. Since nearly all my favorite books are in first person, I tried that. It didn't work with some of the plot elements. So, yeah, that's how we ended up with Ramirez and Lilly thoughts.

The Characters

Rackbrier of course is still here...
He began as Rakber Hoff, and a very fact-loving fellow indeed. :-)
He was basically a concoction of Inspector Javert, George Banks, and Sherlock Holmes with a dash of my favorite -- German World War II ace. ;-)
As you can imagine the resulting critter was a little odd with a few inconsistence. (But of course, very endearing. Especially the Inspector Javert part.)

Rakber Hoff is now Benryden Rackbrier and he's a little more defined...I hope. He lost his seat as the main character. Poor fellow.

Emerald's name changed about a million times, but she's back to Emerald again. Only now she's Emerald Fleischman instead of Emerald Dorsdoffin.

Other key characters are:

Ramirez Delamare (formally Ramirez Kenzel)

Lilly Ephramean (formally many things, including...Lilly/Margaret Ceeza/Lewq)

Dietrich DeElliot (formally Dietrich Craymore)

Judvor Lewq

Count Craignil Fleischman (formally Lord Dorsdoffin)

Duke Eldine

Captain Adion Delamare (formally Edion Kenzel)

Baron Grado Bouvier (formally Lord Bithron)

Juela Mentiroso, Kadit, Benaiah, Sir Wilken Lewq also all play backstage roles.

I've been currently trying to create some deeper character sketches. Some of these guys have so many in so many different places, and I just need one more definitive one I can refer too.

I've been reading Brandilyn Collins book Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn from Actors. It's great and its giving me some new ideas.

I've felt like I know my characters relatively well. I have mental conversations with them (all except Rackbrier. He's not sociable. And Ramirez, he thinks more then talks. Plus my modern garb scares his sense of fashion and propriety.)
I try to think like them or act like them on occasion.

But I need to do more.

Jeff Gerke's book The Art and Craft of Christian Fiction challenged me. What do my characters want? This should be part of the drive in the story. And it is. But lets get down to the gritty. Seriously, what do they want? How does this effect their actions?

I think I'm getting to the root of this in most of my characters...except Ramirez and Lilly. That's only my two POV characters, no big deal. Wrong! Big deal! This is not okay. I really need to hash this out.

The Plot

So I have a lot of writer's journals.
Some of them are full. Some of them are organized. Most of them are total chaos, with few and far between helpful info.
They are crammed with story ideas. Some stories I got pretty far into plotting and some are more then half written. Some of them are just a sentence of an idea.
But...basically all of them have been incorporated or pirated for my current story in someway.

If you've been reading, you know about Antony. Yeah, sore spot with sister. He was originally important to the plot, but when the focus changed from Rackbrier to other characters and when my sister would not let me bump him off he got archived for a later date.

In came Judvor. He is actually a 2010 addition, so a real newbie. He was originally brought in to fulfill some minor accomplishment that Antony had served. He quickly took charge of the situation and made his place in the world. He's now a very important fellow.

After reading through my old journals I discovered his former hideout. He was basically my character Tilman with a dash of Elliot Spencer.
Tilman was a hardworking farmer dude in a previous story that made it to about page 50 with a detailed plot outline before it got set on the back burner.
Judvor was even bringing in the same key plot elements that Tilman had to his story!
Little sneak.

So yes, Judvor/Tilman changed the plot on me. He didn't change the huge element, but he enriched the story.

From 2005 there remains one stable element...The bad guys and the good guys fight.

In Review

I enjoyed looking over the old stuff way more then I thought I would. It was interesting to see where my story and me have been. I was impressed and sometimes disturbed at my creativity levels. Am I getting old? Is my imagination getting smothered?
Hopefully I'm just becoming a little more realistic. :-)

Although my writing started much earlier, I started serious writing journals in 2004.
Over the years my style has fluctuated and changed. I believe I'm back more towards 2004 then I am towards 2008. And I think that's a good thing. I hope I've made some big strides in maturing and will continue to do so, but I think I'm finally comfortable with my 'voice'.

I hope this has been growing pains, not waisted time or an outlet for insanity. ;-)

Now I really need to get something done!

I have so much to learn and so much to write!

Thanks for reading,
Miss Pickwickian


Johanna said...

I'm excited to see your results! :-D

Polka Dot said...

I liked the beginning versions. I think you should turn all those into a completely different story someday.

Jubilant Wife said...

I think that with some more writting journals, late nights arguing with Suzy about who to kill, and intense work, you'll have am amazing story on your hands that we'll all adore!
Always remember I'm a willing guinea pig!

Miss Pickwickian said...

Thanks. ;-)