Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Overcoming a Pitfall with Rewrites

When I started writing for my warrior's tale, it was a random occurence. An idea popped into my head that I wanted to explore for myself. Plus it had been a while since I wrote that type of story. About a protagonist overcoming a foe and I'm betting there's something extraordinary brewing. In other words, this is something that would only occur in fiction.

After getting down my prologue, I got a few lines of dialogue. I established that my protagonist, Cassandra, was injured in this battle so badly that she almost died. If that wasn't enough, her persistence to righ the wrong is getting in the way of that. So I decided that she needed to be placed in a medically-induced coma.
When I was writing from her POV, I didn't worry too much about creating a whole story. That's kind of what this exercise has been about. I'd added a few sharp images that came to mind in a steady stream of consciousness. Perhaps in the long run, what I wrote in that perspective might work, given her lethargic, ailing state.

A couple of long weeks passed. I wrote a couple of bits here and there, all in the same place. I take my neighbor's dog outside in the middle of her workday and I spend about an hour with him in the house. I've used that time to read, but also write if something on my iPod generated some great imagery.

I figure that if I keep writing in the same place and it's routine enough, I can get somewhere with this.

I thought that maybe I could use this coma as a time to do a little background. All of it was from her perspective, this time in complete, complex sentences.
I realized today that there was so much coming out of my head, in so many directions, that this is merely going to be a draft.
Revision is my greatest enemy and one pitfall I've happened into frequently as of late is I start writing things from that stream of consciousness. And it is rarely focused. What I started doing after a while is adding more to the persona. Starting to give something of a backstory for her. I'd been thinking that she's sounding more like Soi Fon in her relationship with the princess. But there are some tiny differences here and there. I haven't fully fleshed out what they are.

What I have done is that I think I might have a name for my princess.
"Snow" was her codename, going from the wheelhouse of Sode No Shirayuki, who I could describe as a snow princess. I'm sure a few might think it's too similiar to Snow White, who has gotten a helluva makeover recently... between Ginnifer Goodwin in "Once upon a time," Lily Collins in "Mirror Mirror" and Kristen Stewart in "Snow White & The Huntsman"...

But I started to think about the name "Kaname." It's another name from Bleach and it is actually the first name of one of three defected Soul Reaper captains. Kaname Tosen embodies the strong silent type persona, although I find myself irked in a few occasions when I look at the guy. Is he blind or something? What's with the eye cover he always has on?

Whenever I see the opening credits (per this recent season, which has probably been going on for 3-4 months now), I think in terms of his first name rather than last... almost forgetting his full name :shrug:

Anyway, I just looked it up to see if it'd be okay for a girl's name. Someone on Yahoo answers apparently was thinking the same thing because she asked if it'd work as her name for her Japanese class. She got the name from the series "Full Metal Panic"... which I haven't seen, but I heard its good

Supposedly for a girl, "Kaname" means gorgeous bud or blossom. I think it could work.
(Yeah, it's pretty evident in some of my work how crazy I am for Japanese names... it sucks my college didn't offer Japanese, I would have been interested in learning some, if only to impress the socks off a lot of people)

Yuki is "snow" in Japanese... and apparently the full name Sode No Shirayuki means sleeved white snow or falling white snow
It doesn't give me that same fuzzy feeling, so I think I will keep "Snow" in there as is.

I wrote an instance where Cassandra says how Kaname has tried to talk her into dropping the formalities, but she can't bring it in herself to do so. Her explanation was something pretty vague and somewhat ridiculous... like nobody really talks like this in real life. She said that proper conduct is what separates people from animals and goes on to refer to the people in her neighbor as animals.

Some more borrowing going on... Rukia and Renji grew up in the Rukan District, which is like the Soul Society slums, the worst neighborhood.

Today, I went into the bit about formalities and I started writing a few things about coming from this rough neighborhood where she suffered through a lot of abuse... most I believe was physical, maybe because something about her separates her and makes her out to be different than everyone else. She's trained herself to be stronger and stealthier so she can avoid those circumstances.
Then I started to add a little bit about how Princess Kaname sent out a decree that she wanted warriors to do her bidding in different areas of the region, dealing with conflicts and disputes and carrying out her orders. I'm not quite sure yet why this sudden change of heart when she already has some 250 bodyguards, who Cassandra notes for their brawn rather than their intelligence (noting that whenever "Rasputian" comes for a social call, he gets by them and automatically knows where they are despite the palace being so large... in the altercation she figures that magic "a forbidden dark art" is the reason behind his strength).

She and Ren (who not only looked out for her on a few occasions but they are the only other ones they have in their neighborhood) trained for months to even be considered for this program where you get trained in a series of combat as well as recognizing poisons and antidotes... which suggests that there have been assassination attempts or suggestions that they are not too far away... with unrest in the region and such).
Somehow, I see her as being the one that Princess Kaname specifically picks to be her personal protector... and there's a reason for that that I haven't quite figured out yet.

Anyway, I got through all this, realized I was getting out of order and decided... I could explain all of this from Cassandra's side of things as something of an outline to work with, but when I do this for real, I'll use the backstory and turn it into a different piece of material.

I've gotten a few emails already mentioning workshops and tips for the annual event of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month... which translates to writing 50,000 words in 30 days and the trick is finishing.
I wonder if it would be cheating if I worked on this story for it specifically even though I already have material kinda started.

One of these years, I think I'd like to try it out. Right now, I think I have too many ideas going on that I can't drop everything to do a brand new one... but I'm too far alone everywhere else where I'm not quite ready yet.
I figured that I'd do this entry to kinda remind myself where I am with this at the moment.

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