This was one of the sections I wrote, in its entirety, during my PLAY 002: NaNoWriMo 2016. It came—surprisingly fast. Just flew right out of me. Forcing myself to write 1667 words (minimum) a day definitely helped, but it was interesting to compare my speed at completing sections before, and then during, NaNoWriMo. Continue reading “CC.004–5.L.2 | The Charismatic Augusto—Love Him Before He’s Gone!”
“How does one get onto a boat!?”
“You step onto it.”
“F%^& you, James…”
In this section, I was tasked with getting our heroes into the City, but instead of a secret passage as we originally conceived, we decided getting in by boat was a better idea.
I think, so far, this is my favourite Lucinda memory (the one at the end of this section). Moments like that are why I want to be a writer. Oh, the big set pieces, those are great, action and adventure and what not, but the image in my head of Charlotte sitting on the ground, remembering Lucinda and whispering along to her childhood self—those “small” moments mean so much more to me. Everything else is just context to make those, so it’s really exciting to have one in this section and feel like I pulled it off.
As you’ll see in the notes, we had conversations about the concept of “chaos” as it pertains to what’s going on here. I started writing with one idea in mind, and never felt quite comfortable with it (i.e. I didn’t quite capture what I was going for properly); James, on the other hand, had a different image of chaos entirely. In rewrites we’ll find something in-between, and that’s the place Charlotte will run through in search of a symbol. Continue reading “CC.010–012.L.2 | Chaos at the Summit”
This was my first attempt at writing in Blue’s voice, and if I do say so myself, I think I completely missed the target (so completely I hit the bulls-eye three targets over). It’s also the first time I’ve ever tried to write a character that someone else first established. It was an interesting experience, and one that showed me I need a better process to internalize an external voice. After talking with James about it, I realized I needed to go back through the sections he wrote, paying close attention to Blue’s voice, to learn the nuances of it and how he speaks.
This whole section was intended mostly as a gag, i.e. Blue steals a pie, but as per my style, that wasn’t enough for me. I needed a deeper purpose, so that’s why I found Charlotte dealing with an internal struggle about she and her companions acting like thieves. We’ll see if it remains in the final cut, but it showed me something more about my writing process and need. Continue reading “CC.029.L.2 | Blue Steals A Pie”
This is our alliterative second look into the mind of our aptly-named villain. By this point, Vilnius sees an unexpected flaw in his plan (Charlotte’s escape), and begins taking increasingly villainous actions in order to stop her. This early in the story, it’s just setting Sandy Lane on our heroes, but Vilnius’ actions will get more intense when we revisit him in later sections. “A Vile View of Vilnius” was difficult and generated so much discussion between Luke and I that I wrote an entire article devoted to it. It’ll tell you why I didn’t quite get Vilnius right, despite some really killer lines from our villain in this section. The comments in this section are particularly enlightening, and show a map of a developing conversation that eventually landed us at the conclusions covered in the linked article.
Last month, I wrote a section of Charlotte’s Journey that is told from the perspective of our villain, Count Vilnius. When we eventually assemble the jigsaw puzzle and put all these sections in order, “A Vile View of Vilnius” should be the second chapter dealing with our big bad, but in draft format this section was the first time Luke and I had privileged access to Vilnius’ thoughts. It was also the first time I had a chance to write the character at all.
The constant refrain when writing Charlotte’s Journey has been “do something simple very well.” The simple part is so that Luke and I are working in a frame we’re familiar with. The very well part is there so we challenge ourselves in that frame. Although I’ve encountered a number of difficulties writing Charlotte’s Journey, writing Vilnius was perhaps the most difficult so far. As it result, it may also have been the most rewarding. Continue reading “Writing Wrongs: Doing Right by your Villain”
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)”
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!”