Daily Prompt: Make it Anywhere
Hey guys and welcome back to another Sunday article. I must apologise for my absence last week but mother’s day was in full effect, and mine recruited me into her gardening militia. The military metaphor might seem like a bit much, but trust me when I say she is one scary lady, more than a match for a drill sergeant. That aside I am back but as it is camp nano this month I thought I’d switch up the subjects a bit. The Little Book of Thomasisms is still available here, with the sample chapter available here. Today, however, is about writing, and I have been having some brilliant fun with it.
My first words for NaNo this month belonged to a scene in which one of my main characters Ellie, confronted her best friend and worst nightmare Puck. For those of you familiar with Shakespeare then yes, I do mean that Puck. There’s is the classic story of two souls so similar in youth drifting apart as the reality of adulthood asserts itself. When it came to painting the setting for this particular scene the physical details were less important compared to Puck and his relationship to the natural world. I’m not sure if this is always the best ideas but the details of my settings are always secondary to what’s happening in them. Is it late at night with not a soul to be seen, is it bustling with a hundred busy people pushing by, or is it a forest clearing lit by moonlight. Puck in my mind and in this story has three defining traits in the form of madness, joy, and violence. The trick for this scene was linking them all to an aspect of the setting so that not only would it make sense for him to arrive there, but he’d actually be pulled into it. In this case, the moonlight provided ample madness, while Ellie’s dance provided a memory of joy, and the feverish pitch building to an outburst of violence covered everything else.
The book I’m trying to finish during this month’s camp NaNo is actually a sequel, my first sequel in fact (does it fell like there is an oxymoron in there somewhere). Puck has been present as an antagonist in the previous book, and he’s reprised his role in the sequel. He behaves like a jilted lover, which in many ways he is, and someone has taken advantage of his violent glee to use him as a weapon. Ellie does not wish to hurt Puck, but she wants the hand that wields him, and this confrontation has been a long time coming. Writing a sequel is more difficult that I imagined, as I have to stay true to what’s already happening, which means I can’t go off in random directions like sometimes (read: all the time) happens. However, it has the advantage that I have already built up the antagonistic relationship between these two characters so this confrontation has plenty of weight behind it and a satisfying conclusion.
After writing the idea I decided instantly that I didn’t like it, and I know I’m not alone in having this problem. This is where NaNo comes in useful because I told myself that I wasn’t changing it until I’d completed my word count, and once that was done I could fuss to my heart’s content. Tomorrow morning, as of writing this article, I have decided that I genuinely like it and that my inner editor needs to bugger off on this one. The scene is tense with promised violence waiting like a flock of carrion birds, the two main characters’ clash is the highlight of it all, and with the set up done in previous books, it doesn’t feel rushed or contrived. This was always going to happen (with or without me apparently) and now that I’ve had a chance to read it fresh I’m glad it stayed. The first book is still in production with Wizards Keep Publishing, and this one is shaping up to being just as good, if not better.
Until then, when dancing in the pale moonlight, don’t forget your cold iron.