At about 1,000 to 4,000 words a day. Just to elucidate on that, I’m officially working on the rough draft of my Strong Hearts, and it’s really, really taking off (like I said in my last post?) I’m pleased with how it is turning out. It has been changing and twisting, morphing and turning as the weeks and months pass. Some days I’m seized with a seizure of inspiration and cannot believe how this story is taking wing. It’s spectacular, watching how it’s developed over the years. Now Diana has a past, lineage of which she is unaware, ties into dark powers, that could destroy the young nation. She is the daughter of a Spanish general, in coalition with General James Wilkinson who is bent on selling out his nation out of greed and avarice. Maybe it sounds a little far-fetched, but it’s working out. I can’t believe what’s happened to it. I won’t say too much about the actual plot, except that I’m hoping I’ll finish this by next Spring. This coming semester I’ll only get about thirty minutes a day in the morning, before Abby and I get off to our school. I would have been doing an hour, but the opportunity to join the cross country running team came up and I joined. So my initially plotted time schedule got pushed off. The evenings are reserved for homework and reading. As the semester of 2012 closes in upon us, I’ve writing like mad. My music playlist:
Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift
All About Us by Owl City and He is We
I will find you by Clannad
Falling by the Civil Wars
I want you back by the Civil Wars
Going Home by Mary Fahl
I think Playlist.com is going to break if I listen to one of these songs again. But the all describe one aspect of my story or other.
Well, my primary goal for August is to reach 100,000 words. (However unreasonable that goal is, I’ll still try!) That’s a little less than 50,000 words away. My mind goes “!!!”
I hope I’m not brain-dead and mentally electrified by the time school arrives. And it’ll be here in less than a month! Please wish me luck! Pretty soon I will get some art on here. I’ve been working on concept sketches for my characters. Specifically Diana and Julian. Yes, they are the center characters. Julian? I used to hate him. Haha. Why? Because he was so, excruciatingly likeable. I drew him most off of Laurie from Little Women and Gilbert in Anne of Green Gables. I wrote Julian just to have a love triangle. Julian loves Diana, he has loved her since childhood, and now when she’s 22 he wants to marry her. She doesn’t love him like that. She only loves him like a brother. So she breaks his heart, and goes with the melancholy, troubled Lewis. I might add that everyone who has read my story (my mom, sisters, and brother-in-law) did not exactly approve of this arrangement. This annoyed me greatly. Just to clarify my aversion to Julian, he was at first flat, dull, and just vexing beyond eternity. I hated him. I delighted in my heroine’s refusing him. Julian—his flat, two-dimensional self, and he did not even have a real place in the story, other than providing a necessary turn-down scene for Diana. In Intertwined Destinies, something about him changed. I still hated him. But apparently he wasn’t so stale as he had been initially. Everyone favored him, actually. I didn’t get it. Why would they like that grey and insipid creature over the complex, tragic Meriwether Lewis? For the longest time I didn’t understand. I even threatened to kill Julian off, and my editor* avowed that by excising him from the story, it would destroy the book. Well, in Intertwined Destinies, Julian did NOT win. But something has changed now, in Strong Hearts. Julian is actually handsome. I’m actually beginning to . . . like him. He’s deep and very human, complex, and beloved to me. (Note: besides character changes, Julian has undergone physical alterations as well. Once he had sable curly hair and ditto for the eyes. Now he has dark brown wavy hair and slate-like blue-gray eyes, a wide sensitive mouth, fair-skinned and broad-shouldered. And he’s awesome! Just awesome.)
He is my heroine’s support, her encourager, her comforter, and he’s such a dear wonderful friend. He’s rational, practical and thoughtful, a leader, quiet and serious, but with a humorous streak that gives him sparks of pure delightfulness. He’s surprisingly real. I’m sitting there, staring at my computer screen, thinking, “Did Julian just say that?” or “What the heck! What has happened to him . . .” half mournfully and half blissfully. Because, well . . . I don’t want Julian to be preferable, but somehow everything about him is extraordinarily appealing.
Intertwined Destinies captured Julian rather incorrectly, for I ignored him and tried to paint him in not the most flattering way. I centered on Diana and her romance with the melancholy hero. But he’s one of the central characters now. I’m enjoying watching where this story is going, and how it is maturing (seriously, it has been growing along with me).Poor mistreated Julian! He deserves a proper introduction.
*This interview was originally found on Further up and Further in (another writing blog)
If your character could be played by an actor, who would it be? I actually have no idea . . .
Does your character have a specific theme song? Off the top of my head, I can only think of I Want you Back by the Civil Wars. It depicts Julian wanting Diana with some accuracy.
What’s their worst childhood memory? Hmm . . . I imagine it would have been associated with hunting. Julian hates killing animals, because he’s a doctor. He only wants to heal and give life.
If your character had a superpower, what would it be? Ah! Julian with a superpower? That’s a fun thought. Probably the ability to heal immediately anyone who needs the aid!
If your character crashed on an island with a bunch of other people, how could your character help the group survive? He would be acquainted with natural medicines and the like, so that would be a significant help to their situation
Are they married? If not, do they someday wish to be? Julian wants to be married, and I think you already know who that special girl is.
What is a cause they would die for? He would die fighting for his family’s honor, and for Diana! (aw . . .)
Would they rather die fighting valiantly, or quietly at home? Julian is a generally peaceable and mild person, thus I imagine he would prefer to die quietly in his home after a long and fulfilling life. But when duty calls, Julian would take up the rifle and fight, against oppressors or those who threaten his beloved country, America. (The battle valiance is still strong in Julian’s time, for it is not long after the Revolution, and nearing the War of 1812)
If a stranger walked up to them and told them they were the child of the prophesy, would they believe them? Julian would not believe the stranger–he’d probably start asking questions (think the Socratic method) and not stop till he’d gotten a full explanation
Do they prefer the country, or the city? Julian studied medicine in Philadelphia under the guidance of Dr. Benjamin Rush. He has always preferred the quiet, easy pastoral land of Virginia to the bustling streets of Philadelphia, and is eager to return to the plantation world he has always known.
If character’s house burned down, and they were left with nothing but the clothes on their back, what would they do? Where would they go? Julian would start rebuilding their home. They wouldn’t move away. They’d stay right there in Fairfax County, because that is their home.
Are they happy with where they are in life, or would they like to move on? Julian has his life still ahead of him–he’s going to be the physician of his hometown. So of course he’s going to move foreward, but he hasn’t truly lived yet!
Are they well-paid? He’s still involved in his studies right now.
Can they read? Yes. Julian is quite learned and devours the classical works concerning medicine–he generally enjoys reading.
What languages do they speak? He is well acquainted with Latin, Greek, German and French (as is pretty common two hundred years ago in the academic world)
What is their biggest mistake? I can’t tell you. It would give away the story.
What did they play with most as a child? In modern terms, Julian is a nerd. He most enjoyed his time in his father’s library delving into books on medicine. Haha
What are their thoughts on politics? He’s a pretty strong Jeffersonian Republican, and disagrees with the Federalists in most aspects. He greatly admires Thomas Jefferson, one main reason.
What is their expected life time? In that age, Julian’s life span probably only reaches to fifty or sixty.
If they were falsely accused of murder, what would they do? How would they react? Julian would calmly state that he was not guilty, would maybe even say nothing, because he cannot respond to such an atrocious accusation. It is simply unanswerable–but his response would probably be cool and collected.