MOPNOWRIMO Day 11: Character Drives (10/5/2012)

Wordcount target: Apparently writing an number down and then crossing it out and pretending that I’m pretending not to have one doesn’t count as just letting it happen at its natural pace.

Words written: 16500

I feel like this novel is roughly back on track. Taken a third of a month to get there but I might yet finish before the end of May. Meanwhile the fallout continues. I can see the characters who took over the previous volume fading right back into the background. This is maybe no bad thing, but so far they’ve shown no interest having any of the limelight whatsoever. Meanwhile the abandoned wife of my protagonist has snatched a chapter for herself and is greedily demanding more. This is a little awkward since her position has always been that going off adventurin’ is all irresponsible when you’ve got family to look after, and while there may be place in the genre for a domestic drama on the trials of single parenthood in the middle of a war, this novel isn’t it. Or at least it wasn’t supposed to be. Laser-toting Deathknights it is,then – don’t think I won’t!

Meanwhile my protagonist is drunk in a corner feeling sorry for himself because no one wants him and another secondary character has turned up who I suspect will make a similar bid for extended air-time. But this is all good.

The thing, I think, that went wrong, was this: I had my story arc all lined up. I didn’t give much thought to the characters because they were established characters from a previous volume. I reckoned they’d take care of themselves. And they did, and it wasn’t compatible with the story I’d set up for them and so the story was broken right from the start. Should have given some more thought to what I’d done to my characters and what that meant to them. This is what I mean when I say things like “my characters didn’t do what I wanted them to do.” Even though they’re basically my puppets. Mumph.

Other news: I’ve seen the draft covers for the re-issue of the Memory of Flames trilogy and if you’ve been following Gollancz on Twitter then they’ve given a glimpse of them too. I’ll wait until the final versions are ready but they’re going to be delicious.

I’ll put up the winner the winner of the Fenrir competition tomorrow, along with the next book up for grabs.


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