Joan of Arc Meets Che Guevara

Posted: November 30, 2014 by writingsprint in Nanowrimo
Tags: , , ,

Having wrapped up Nanowrimo, my wife and I shared champagne and some chocolate cake after dinner tonight, which is becoming my traditional way of celebrating something involving writing.

So now what?

I’m not writing any new content today. I’ve earned a day off.

The novel needs a plan to fill in its gaps and take it to the end. Tomorrow I’ll start to sketch that out.

To begin, I need to get a better handle on:

  • The pirates who raised her after she went into exile.
  • The government of the galaxy where she lives and how her planet fits in.
  • Major species of aliens.
  • The technologies used for faster-than-light travel and its limitations.
  • What Risha wants. This is fundamental. I thought I knew it, but as I worked through Nanowrimo, I realized that what I thought she wanted wasn’t driving the story. That’s no good.

To get to know Risha better, I started reading The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara and Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism by Marina Warner, both of which I picked up in a used bookstore back in October. Risha will become a woman who changes the course of her world. Before that, she’s a human being. I want to find out what young people who have changed the world have been like.

I’ve also started reading Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. Mercy Thompson, the heroine, may be a good influence for me for Risha. She’s badass, knows who she is, and lives by her own rules. That’s Risha, along with the added twist of secretly being a princess. Han Solo and Malcolm Reynolds will certainly influence my thinking of what she’s like, too.

The question for me is, where would a woman like Risha — fifteen years exiled from her old life, armed with a rickety spaceship and a flair for the dramatic — take her life from there? I tinkered with this during Nano, and now it’s time to dive deeper.


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