This sections marks an important transition for our characters. Charlotte and Raul must climb the wall of the river valley and in so doing move from Raul’s world into Charlotte’s. It is a turning point in the narrative, so naturally, we wanted to bring a villain in. Sandy Lane has the kind of martial ability that Charlotte and Raul lack, which means we needed Blue as a foil (spoiler alert, I guess). Sandy proved the regular challenge—a character with no gendered pronouns(and no obvious gender neutral ones, either!) I think Blue really shines here—I feel very comfortable writing his character and I think he’s a lot of fun. Giving him some agency, demonstrating why he is a survivor, was a big change from his first appearance, but I feel it works and justifies his acceptance into the team dynamic. Continue reading “CC.021.J.2 | Sandy Lane vs. Team Good Guys: Round 1”
Writing this scene brought me head to head with the concept of “physical space”. When I started describing the tents that Charlotte was cutting through, I drew multiple maps trying to make it work (and in the end still didn’t quite get there). There’s definitely a Central Pillar post in there; James and I talked about the need to get away from the computer and physically move ourselves, just as our characters do. So fun times to come from that. Continue reading “CC.008–009.L.2 | Lucinda Meets Magic”
The character sketches were a collaborative effort; a rough road map to understanding our characters. As we continued to co-write Charlotte’s Journey, this was a way to keep the “shape”, or a baseline, of a character in mind; so we didn’t create two competing arcs as we wrote first drafts.
Sandy is androgynous through terrifying reputation, and we’ve challenged ourselves to relate this without using any pronouns for…Sandy. It’s turned out to be kind of fun, and surprisingly, not as hard as we thought. Read Sandy’s character sketch closely and you’ll see what we mean…
Continue reading “Character Sketch: Sandy (Lane)”
Lamp Post is inspired by the small, irrational stories that float to the mind’s surface when confronted with the unknown. The brief thought that a strange creature could be watching just outside of a dark window at night, or the wondering of what is really moves below your feet in a cold lake. Playing with space here allows the poem to separate and explore individual superstitions as a person moves through the world around them.
I bet there’s new bones, buried here
Soft, and polished,
Laid low with dirt and intention.
Good feelings and cascading lace
I bet the land has had enough of it
Convinced we move the oil, make room
For the dead, and our ancestors.
This poem began in a coffee shop as a simple writing exercise, where I turn on Spotify, find an instrumental song that I enjoy and just, go. I like to start most of my writing sessions this way; It rattles the pipes clean and helps satisfy my chronic procrastination. I don’t necessarily start on my determined project of the day right then and there, but I’m still being productive, and whatever unrelated stories are trying to express themselves get their voices heard.
First Find Water became an unexpected pleasure and much longer project to work on. Rewrites and reflection revealed a character processing an empty world devastated by climate change, where she must find the basics we look for when attempting to survive.
“I advise you to prepare for the worst”
She is small, and ever walking
Her turns, are sharp as elbows
And each heart beat finds its palpitation
River, river. You used to run and have life follow
I really started having fun writing this section. Raul is, without a doubt, an absolute blast to write. I was proud of how the scene between Charlotte and Vilnius played out, too. Strangely (thought probably not that strange), I found I was completely off base with Charlotte. I misunderstood how she’d be feeling here, and only after a conversation with James did I start to see where I’d gone wrong (this is where Charlotte’s character sketch came in real handy to get back on track). She’s our main character—the narrative literally follows her around—so it makes sense I’d need more time to understand her since her presence fills so much. I’ll get there, though, and this is one step along the journey.
Continue reading “CC.007.L.2 | Charlotte & Raul at a party!”
Luke: This is where James would write an intro to this section he wrote. He may talk about what it was like to write it; or something he learned about his process, the story, or one of the characters; maybe he’ll just go on a tangent about cheese. I’m not sure which, because he hasn’t done it yet…
James: This section is long. It actually covers a few important events, not the least of which is meeting Blue. Originally, Blue was supposed to join the team right here, but that didn’t work for the story as I was writing it. Some emergent ideas reshuffled the timeline of events, and hopefully improved the next section I’ll be writing with Blue’s surprise re-appearance.
Although it doesn’t make it into the narrative itself, I took efforts to explain all the magic in this section under the strict rules we imposed on our story. You can see those explanations in the comments.
Finally, this section might be a failure. Blue doesn’t join the team as the cue card suggests he should, and an implicit connection between the ruined fortress and Count Vilnius never arises. Both failures may, in the end, prove to be better for the story, but there you have it.
Continue reading “CC.018.J.2 | Charlotte and Raul Meet Blue (But for Real This Time)”
The Wrestling Match was an opportunity to let Charlotte and Raul get to know each other in the wake of a traumatic event. The trick was making sure they aren’t too familiar yet, which I found to be a challenge because I know both the characters well. This section is all about having our two leads interact and learn about each other. Raul’s buffoonery is front and center, but I tried to give him some nobility as well. Charlotte is dealing with grief, and coming to terms with the challenge that faces her. The sword, well, it’s largely absent, which means that we’ll be seeing improvements in a future draft.
This was the first chunk of Charlotte’s Journey I started writing; our introduction to the accord sword, and possibly the first time we’ll see magic affect the world. It also gives us a lot of insight into Charlotte’s thoughts, her relationship with Lucinda (and maybe Vilnius, too); not to mention monks, ceremony, and blood. Though it’s clear it still needs a lot of polish (it is a first draft, after all), I feel I was able to really capture Augusto’s voice in the end…