Late on Friday night I sat in front of the computer and began to type. I have to admit that it’s been a while. It just happens that forcing myself to write when I am 100% not into it tends to make me feel positively miserable. So, I’ve not exactly been productive.
I wrote a little over a page on Friday night. That’s not bad for being a bit out of practice.
It stemmed from an idea I had months ago but, back then, every time I started writing the opening to the story it never felt right. Apparently letting the idea mull for a while was exactly what it needed. I’m pretty happy with my most recent beginning.
The story itself, well I can’t say that I’ve written plot or characters quite like it before. There are familiar elements of course and the genre doesn’t exactly leap away from my comfort zone. However, there are parts which could prove to be different or even challenging for me.
For starters, my main character Elliot ‘Eli’ Strauss is a tailor so, with only a couple of pages written and some basic research I’m already learning new terms in relation to his profession. Learning about different disciplines through writing can be a lot of fun but the research can slow down the process a bit. Especially when you have to stop and check a word that you’re thinking of to make sure that it fits just right.
As well as learning about Eli there is also world-building to do – something I’m not exactly unfamiliar with due to my love of fantasy stories – which always seems to grow more and more complicated, possibly because the more finite details can become the most interesting to me. World-building has taught me that I tend to think in curved lines and circles. I’m not sure why my cities and towns seem to flow that way but aesthetically my imagination makes my worlds very pleasing. It’s stories like this which makes me wish that my artistic skills moved beyond doodles and quick little drawing projects.
However, new professions and brand new worlds are parts of writing techniques/styles that I’ve used and worked on before.
It is the characters themselves who are making all of the difference this time. They’re all juggling with personal secrets – perhaps this is not unusual in the grand scheme of things – but I’ve never been so compelled to write a story where their secrets are at the crux of events.
It can be anything from off-putting to downright terrifying when you’re faced with sharing a personal secret. Feeling uncomfortable with a concept has put me off turning an idea into a story before. I think that it takes a certain kind of person/bravery to be so raw and honest when writing something that makes them personally uneasy.
This time around, as I breathe deep and let my character’s roam – How could I be any less willing to share their secrets than they are?
I often find that, the stronger the character’s personality is then the better the story unfolds.
Eli’s been with me for a while now. He is my leader. My protagonist.
His secret may not be mine but I am certainly not indifferent to any fears/struggles that faces him. It’s a strange desire when you want to do well by a figment of your imagination (is this an author thing?)
I have no word goals or timelines in mind – that method has not been working well for me recently – but I began and, although I hope that it will not be many more months before I write another page, I believe that forming a beginning was a positive step in the right direction.