Creative time! *14122015
So, I’ve been asked how my mind works when it comes to planning out my novel.
It never started organised.
It never started sharply.
Most stories start perhaps in the middle, or at the beginning. My story, for me. Started with the end.
I thought of all the stories I read as a child, all the games I played, and recited the final fantasy stories in my head thinking about how much those characters must go through. As I grew up I matured the problems into more serious ones, or even more realistic ones. My habit brought me back to Medieval times(Oh, I love medieval times). Researching the Vikings crept up in the back of my mind and I thought, “The stories about how much the Gods went through when they walked the earth; or these tales of great warriors dying in battle…” and for a moment I stopped, “What could be the worst thing to happen to a warrior?” I thought that the worst thing that could happen would be to fail at protecting the people you love, right?
So my mind started working, what would I be like if I was that person? Back then? Losing everything around me, what would I do?
I was torn on my decision, and that in itself brought me to think about how I can go around writing a novel, especially if it is based from the main character’s perspective. I thought, walking through hell, what would you end up doing? What about afterwards? When the villain is dead, the character is broken or mortally wounded. Where does he go? How long does it take? Does he give up? Does he keep working through his hardships and die an old man?
As for myself, I’ve never imagined living until I was old and grey. I’m not quite sure why, but I’ve never been able to. 35 was the latest I could imagine myself, so I thought….
How should I go around that… And I imagined my character…
He had brown scruffy hair and piercing green eyes… the type of eyes that looked directly at your soul if you let it. An expression captivated his face which accelerated his age. Had he only been thirty? He looked at you with the eyes of an old man, tired, fatigued, but never losing strength. Though he gave such a serious face, and had the worry lines of a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, there were still crows feet in the corner of his eyes showing that he once did have a smile behind his sadness. He wore the cloak of his father. It wrapped around him perfectly, hanging from his shoulders, and falling to his ankles. Wrists encased in bandages from the aches, pains and scars of a dozen wars, and a thousand fights. He stood looking at the blood stained bandages hiding his hands.
I then thought, well what was he doing there? Where was he? Was he acting like a man who had seen a thousand endings and was waiting for his time to come? Did he have anyone there with him? Anyone watching?
He looked out at the setting sun, and the shadows of the trees stretching. He over-looked the nearby mountain, and felt the wind pass around him at the cliff’s end. He muttered words that seemed out of place,
“And this was where I wanted to end my story.”
A young woman looked at him with long red hair, and a overwhelmed stare. Sanguine? The colour of blood.
“What do you mean? You haven’t told me it yet?”
A faint, empty smile lingered on his face, reciprocating the futile attempt of the sun trying to overpower the cold, winter air, “You can sheathe your weapon, I won’t hurt you. Instead, I’ll tell you my story, and then you can do a favour for me…” He massaged the bridge of his nose, and wiped his eyes in his bandaged hands, “How does that sound?”
“I will. You have to tell me your favour first though, old man.” She gave a cheeky smile, and looked in every direction around them, before looking at him.
They faced each other and his words had such promise in them, they were unshaken from such vices as desire, and love.
“I want you to kill me.”
The man stood still, eyes unclouded, and a once foolish heart, now erased. The girl’s heart raced, and she felt her body grow heavy. She was still young, and lacked the experience of making hard decisions. Though part of her knew she had to accept, after seeing the look of a broken man stare at her.
“I’ll be the one, I promise.”
He smiled, “We’re more alike than you think. Let me begin… and you can tell me whether the stories you’ve heard about me are true.”
So there, I started with a character both wise, and complicated, with a delicate, sensitive view on life who was already willing to give up his life and end it all. I thought, if I could start with the character, the rest would come. And it did.
I started with bits and pieces… Key events I called them, situations he could have chosen to change his destiny but chose to give up pieces of his heart, his own mind to other people, whether it was out of anger or out of the need to protect another.
I had dreams about this event for weeks, as my brain filled in the gaps. What his parents would have been like for him to walk such road, and whether they had something to do with it. Did it start with them? or did he do this to himself? I answered every question until I’m now sat with an entire plan from the life of his father, the death of his mother, and the concept of him breaking in half to overcome the many near-death he experiences throughout his journey until he has a trigger that makes him lose his mind. What would make a man lose his mind?
I may tell you next time…