What I'm Listening To: The Dresden Dolls - Truce
What I'm Doing: Character creation for the newest, untitled story.
With Eversong complete to the first draft, and currently sitting with two of my best friends and awaiting edits/revisions by them, I've been going stir-crazy wanting to keep writing.
Unfortunately, it's not as easy as Eversong was, because for that, I had Mami's AftG to look forward to for every landmark wordcount I reached. Not to mention that all of my current 'WIPs' were having hate for me - M&M absolutely refuses to come out of hiding, and Perfect is at a stand-still as I try to figure Ally out.
I go out walking often, mostly because I can't drive, and if I need to sell or buy anything, I have to walk myself to the store to do so. With nothing to occupy me while I'm walking, I think about characters. The problem there-in is I don't write well with just characters. I've talked about this before; generally I get a story, and the characters come later to fill it in.
So I had some vague ideas, involving ghosts, a klepto-character, a pack-rat character, and some other even more obscure ideas that weren't even complete enough to call 'ideas.' But if I've said this once, I've said it a hundred times - I do NOT do well with just characters. So I had them all crowding around my brain, clamouring at me to write their stories, but no stories into which to put them all.
Gradually, a title came to me. Heaven's Halfway, and the main character would be Heaven. At first I thought she was the one involved with the ghosts, and it morphed into possession by the ghosts, but I couldn't make it work, and the ghosts went away altogether and left me with the notion that Heaven was a multiple. (If it's possible to have a 'favourite' mental disorder, then DID is mine. For those of you who aren't obsessed with it, it's commonly referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder, or more accurately, Disassociative Identity Disorder. Two really fantastic books dealing with it are When Rabbit Howls, a true story written by "The Troops for Trudi Chase" - she's been abused for so long, and so harshly, that there literally is NO Trudi Chase - there's just other personalities within her. Almost 100 total, and the MS for Rabbit was contributed to by most of them. I'd give my left hand to see the original, hand-written manuscript for it, because they said multiple times that the handwritings change as each alter wrote their part. The other is a fictional book by Jonathan Nasaw, called The Girls He Adored, and it's got two of my favourite things - crime, and DID. The main character is a multiple who generally goes by the name of Max, and he's kidnapping women with strawberry blonde hair for nefarious purposes. It follows him, his prison shrink, and the FBI agent on his tail.)
Anyway, where was I? *skims up* Oh yeah, so Heaven became a multiple. I've got the 'who' - Heaven and her alters - the 'what' - are on the run from her abusive ex boyfriend - but not the 'why', aside from the general "he's abusive."
But tonight I was going through old CDs of mine, and I found one called A Dark Cabaret, and it's full of ... well, dark cabaret songs. The Dresden Dolls, along with other, less well known artists, and they're some of my favourite songs. Very dark and still upbeat, full of piano and creepy lyrics ("knock three times on the coffin if you want my love")
Well, I was listening to it, and I suddenly had the image of a boy in a mental hospital, because he sees ghosts and demons and such. And I will admit freely that AftG had some influence on it (it's going to be 'gay fiction') and I immediately sat down and started writing. After a little while, I switched to the Dresden Dolls' CD, and started on character creation. (It was a desperate struggle to remind myself that my main character is Alexander and not Andrew)
Between Zander's Story (it has no name as of yet) and Heaven's Halfway, however, I started on the outline for what basically amounts to a fictional account of my life (my life, presented as fiction rather than a memoir) and I made it through chapter 13 (it starts when "I'm" twelve, and by 13 the story has reached "me" at age 18 - names are going to be changed, but not the events. I've led a dark and twisted life, or as dark and twisted as life can get without excessive drugs or murder.)
But it was heavy in my mind when I was thinking about Zander's story, and I realised that I can waste a lot of time with outlines, and Mami's words about how she writes without outlines (I can't recall her exact words offhand, and I'm afraid my computer will crash at any moment if I open too many things to look it up) went through my head, and I decided to simply get my main cast of characters down on paper, so I know who I'm dealing with, and then just write, and see what comes of it.
But the idea of writing with no way of knowing where it's going, or how it's going to get there is kinda terrifying to me. My first full length novel - Eversong - had outlines up the wazoo, as well as Mami's constant support. I'm going into Zander's story with... basically nothing but names. I'm worried that without a concrete ending in mind, the story will go nowhere.
Well, before this can turn into a whinge-fest, I'll wrap it up there. Sorry again about the radio silence, folks! Eversong and AftG took up a lot of my time these past few weeks.