I attempted to write a bit today, and I actually didn’t do too badly. Well, by not too badly, I mean a couple of hundred words. Not the 20,000 I need to succeed at NaNoWriMo.
But, still. It’s a lot better than I have done. And, as mentioned in my last post, it’s kind of okay that I’m not going to beat NaNoWriMo (I’m not that competitive anyway).
Instead I’m going to pootle along at my own pace and decide when I finish (and edit as I go). Today, I wrote a snow scene. Yes, the novel is currently set in mid-summer, but I had an urge to write about snow (maybe it’s the cold weather making me feel frosty). It might not make it into the novel ultimately, but now I have an idea of how my characters are going to handle cold weather… not very well apart from Rayne it seems, but it makes for an interesting addition to their characters!
So I’m playing around with the characters a bit, seeing what happens to the story when I do, and hopefully turn my 30,000 or so words into something resembling the bare bones of a fantasy novel.
Out of interest – what makes a successful fantasy novel for you?
I think I might have made a mistake. Remember how I told you all about my favourite characters and my desperate need to shoe-horn them into everything? Well, in fairness, they fit quite well into the story – like a Fellowship in Lord of the Rings, my cast of characters is large and well-rounded. But, I have also found a new character I might be falling in love with.
Try imagining a mix between Gaston from Beauty and the Beast and Dastan from Prince of Persia fame (Jake Gyllenhaal if you don’t know the computer game). Sprinkle in Jarrett’s previously-mentioned arrogance, and a certain dogged loyalty that is often at odds with his best instincts, and you might just about have him. He’s not as detestable as Gaston (even if you do secretly love him, admit it), and he’s not as brave as Dastan, but he’s intelligent and quick-minded, and really does have the best of intentions, even if they come out wrong.
So it’s now a battle of wills between Jarrett (who still features, minus the arrogance and plus a dark side) and the newcomer Ajax. I’m not sure who will win out yet… they are both doing quite well in their corners of the story, but I’m a bit worried that when they meet it might get a bit messy.
Does anyone have any tips on keeping their characters under control?
At least Sanoh is behaving herself, although she has a contender in Kendra that I think might come to blows at one point or another – we shall have to see whether they love/hate/love-to-hate each other later on. But for now, I think I have my cast. They’re as motley as the Fellowship, but definitely more gender-balanced. They are missing mini-people, but Vaxens are pretty Amazonian in height, so I think I should be allowed to go towards tall rather than small in my writing. For now, we have a team of four (possibly five if Ajax and Jarrett get along) but I can guarantee that more will appear on the long and winding road that is fantasy adventure…