The Blood of Thine Characters

Today, probably by sometime this evening, I’ll have breezed past the fifteen thousand words mark of The Foundation Chronicles:  The Scouring, and perhaps have even crawled into the sixteen thousand word range.  After seven days of writing I’l have moved beyond the half-way point of my novella, and if my stats are correct, I’ll finish NaNo Camp next Sunday with thirty thousand words plus of a lead-in to my November NaNo Novel.

Then I can rest for a little while.

This gives me time to read some of the things out on in the Facebook NaNo group, and ponder the human condition.  I’ve started following it more closely these days, smiling at several of the questions, ignoring others, blocking a few (when someone comments that “science is a religion”, you’ve succeeded in pressing my You’re An Idiot Button, and I have to stop following them from that point on), commenting once in a while, and even assisting in the hijacking of one thread, which brought out the Evil Dominatrix Empress from within and saw a soft “Bwah, hahaha!” being uttered.

I’m so proud of myself.

There was a question today that was actually a good one.  Someone asked if anyone ever cried when they had to kill certain main characters.  It is a good question, because writing can be an emotional experience, and it entirely possible to get caught up in the words you weave.  I’ve cried as well, usually at the end of a story–two in particular–because there were feeling passing between my characters that were feelings I pulled deep from within.  There was a time when I couldn’t write like that; that time is long past.

But what if you have to off your characters?  Doesn’t that get you down?

I do imagine of the times when it’ll become necessary Blood of Thine Enemiesto kill characters in stories.  I mean, I could justify doing it by pointing to this picture on the right and saying, “Substitute ‘main characters’ for ‘enemies’.”  It’s gonna add some character to your writing, piece by piece–get it?  Chirrup chirrup.  Oooh, tough crowd.

As I usually do, I think about my characters and where they are going.  I think about their past, their presents, and their futures.  They don’t tell me where they’re going:  I do that for them, because they are figments of my imagination, and I own their asses, not the other way around.  If I say they’re going to get married, they do; if I say they’re going to retire, they do.

If I say they’re going to come down with a horrible, degenerative illness, or get their legs blasted off in an explosion, or die in a fairly hopeless fashion because they didn’t listen to advice, it’s gonna happen.  They got no say in the matter.

The things I’ve mentioned above, they will happen to characters I’ve written about.  Two of those events, in fact, will eventually happen to characters in this story I’m writing for Camp NaNo.  Am I trying to crawl my way up The Wall to stand next to the Master of Destroying Your Favorite Character Just to Make You Feel Bad, George R.R. Martin?  No.  For one, none of these characters are your favorite.  Maybe they’re mine–well, yes, all three are.  I love them.  I cherish them.  I want good things for them.

But everything dies.  Everything.  Even my favorite characters.  Oh, sure:  they might live on in your memory, or in the memories of your readers.  But they can die on the page.  Sometimes their deaths will be good, and other times they’ll suck hard.  I can promise I won’t ever stuff someone in a refrigerator just for the hell of it, but everything else is up for grabs.

Besides, I’ve got about forty characters to bump off in my current story this coming week.

Who’s got time for tears with that much writing?

Images Out of the Resesses

Another thousand down.  Yep, the writing machine is on target once more.  If not for the distractions, I’d have likely put away more last night.  Make a mental note:  distractions should be distracted.  Stick to the writing, yobo.

More than any story I’ve written there is a singular lack of vision for this.  By vision, I mean I’ve had a difficult time visualizing the characters and story in my head.  When I write, the story often flows like a movie in my head; it’s like everything is there before I start putting word to screen.  This time, it’s almost the opposite:  as I write, the imagines come, and it feels more as if I’m creating the visual medium as the story unfolds.

Take my main male protagonist.  As I was writing Chapter Two last night, I had no idea what he looked like.  As I reached the point where he was looking in the bathroom mirror, the image that should stare back came to me, and I put that into the narrative.  At strange thing, that, that he should only become visible once he seems himself.

As for my muse . . . she’s proved difficult to pin down.  I’ve had an image of her in my mind for some time, but the closer I came to writing this story, the less likely that image became.  Why?  For one thing, the local of the story suddenly, at the last moment, became Las Vegas, and the outfit I imagined for her wouldn’t have made a hell of a lot of sense for a city in the high desert.

The idea, the visual of how she should look, came to me as I was driving home from work last night.  I have a much better view of her now, and that’s what I’ll transcribe tonight.  Without my numerous distractions, of course; I can do without that crap.  And I can stay up later tonight, because I have no need of getting up at five AM so I can make the trek into the big city.

I have a feeling this is going to be the way of the story, that it’ll present itself to me as I start each chapter.  It could also be that I’m not seeing anything differently than I’ve seen in the way I’ve written my other stories, but due to the mind fog I’ve suffered through my last few stories—my last few months, my memory of how I actually write has been skewed considerably.

Perhaps, also, this is my muse’s way of prodding me back into the true art of creation.

Will I do another thousand words tonight?  I hope to do a little more, maybe take Chapter Two out to its conclusion so I can get Chapter Three started tomorrow.  I know that these two will likely end up back to back, with only a few hours taking place between them within the narrative, so it’s best to crank them out quickly, least they end up feeling as if they were written with a considerable lag between then.

Then all I have to do is get my other female protagonist onstage.

I wonder how she’ll look?

 

Amusing Progressions

Erin and Talia.  There, I have my muses named.

Wait—muses, you say?  I say, isn’t that what my next story is about?  Not muses per say, but it’s where the story’s going, so hang on.

I actually have a few people named out for the next story.  Keith will be my male protagonist, and that’s a name that came to me as I was driving into work this morning.  I know his manager will be named Debbie, and while I have a certain disdain for that name these days, I have no intention of turning her into a passive-aggressive mess like another person I knew.  No, she’ll actually be nice and engaging—the sort of manager we should all have.

There will be two other people as well:  one of Keith’s friends, and a female protagonist who is likely to make Keith’s life as complicated as Erin will.  The male friend will likely show up in a few scenes, but the female protagonist—ah, this is a different story.  She’s going to be seen far more than just a few times.  Far more times.

I did little last night beside relax and listen to music last night.  I didn’t think about 3D modeling or playing game—it was a give it a rest night.  Well, up to a point.  See, the brain never stops, and even when I’m not doing anything, I am.  So I was thinking.  Thinking about stories, about muses and how they come around and make the lives of us creative types a hell from time to time.

I was thinking about my own muse, who expressed her unhappiness that I wasn’t writing at the moment . . .

She’s a lovely creature, my muse.  She speaks to me, and I know I speak to her because she tells me so.  But she’s also one who, when she speaks, I should listen.  There have been times when I didn’t listen in the past, and she came back and let me know, in her own quiet way, what a mistake that was.  She’s never been nasty to me, nor mean, but I know when she’s not happy.

It’s her words; I feel them.  I connect to them.  Probably because I write, I recognize the sensations she place within her sentences.  There’s no need to ask if she’s bothered:  I know.

I won’t say she was bothered when I spoke with her, but there was an undercurrent of disturbed that was present.  It was a case of me sitting back and doing something else, something that isn’t my main goal, which is getting my writing out there for others to see.  I’ve rested on my laurels—which, frankly, aren’t a hell of a lot—and there isn’t a lot of time to rest.  Not when your laurels are all that much to brag about.

Therefore, as soon as I get a title, the story gets laid out.  Because there is no rest for the writer.  Not that I have rested, but . . . well tell that to my muse—

As much as she likes to pretend she’s imaginary, I know better.  Much better.