I have been plumbing the depths of literary theory and analysis of hero tales and myths. This is part of my Masters degree – the last unit actually (HOORAH!), but is also quite useful background knowledge in writing a novel in which the protagonist is female, and a historically persecuted one at that. The theory is prompting me to consider what type of image of ‘girl’ I am projecting in the novel and what kind of image this gives prospective teen readers.
As I write, I come across many things that I am unsure about, that I don’t know, that I am interested to find out, or that I think will enrich and add depth to the story. Rather than get caught up with these things during the initial writing stages, I create a list of questions and research points. These are the things I will need to resolve by the final draft, but that, at the moment, I don’t want to hold up the writing process.
Today I am looking at Annabella’s goals and desires. To have the protagonist’s goals impeded by something or someone builds conflict in a story, and this is my intention today: conflict.
Much has been written about witches, witch hunters and witch trials. These will be recurring ideas in my novel. Here is some history of the witch trails in Bohemia that informs my novel.
Today, I am thinking about relationships, specifically how each of my characters relate to the protagonist, Annabella. I realised that I had too many good guys and not enough really horrible ones – so I have tried to balance this out a little by creating the following list.
Louise Doughty says, “A novel is written in increments, just as a weight-loss plan happens pound by pound…it is important to realise that there will always be times when it is one step forward, two steps back.” She concludes this particular chapter by declaring, “Today is the first day of the rest of my novel.” – not a bad mantra to have!
Authors may have a commitment to writing, but inspiration and enthusiasm, it seems, come in waves. After months of writing, I am stuck and I need your help.
My novel is about difference, discrimination and the search for belonging. It is a fantasy historical fiction in which the protagonist, Annabella, works for an eccentric princess (who is suspected of vampirism. – But it is not a vampire novel!) Along the way, she makes three good friends, finds love and discovers the secrets of her past, but is persecuted by the villagers.
What is the difference between a novel and a short story: the development of character…the characters change in some way. The novel I am writing will take place when my main character is 17 years old. Through a series of flashbacks, the reader will get insight into various events from the protagonist’s past. The main character has no idea of who she is or of her heritage, but she learns this throughout the novel – in this way, she is changed: she learns who she is, she accepts and steps into this knowledge.