Stubborn Authors

Posted: December 7, 2014 by writingsprint in Writing
Tags: , , , ,

This week I learned that Joan of Arc‘s rise to prominence was greatly due to the time and place she was born into. Joan was born in 1412, 75 years into the Hundred Years’ War. France had been ravaged by decades of fighting between the French, English, and marauding bands of mercenaries. Conditions were ripe for a savior to rally the French. As the maid of Orleans, Joan invoked the mythology of the Virgin Mary and was the symbol of a pure, unified France.

How does this help me in the novel? I’m not sure yet. I have a feeling that Risha’s growing up in a galaxy at war. Her parents were certainly betrayed. Risha will be considered a pawn by the other houses vying for the throne.

I also learned that Che Guevara was a bit of a vagabond in his younger days. He and his friend Alberto simply up and decided to take a motorcycle ride to North America (or at least Chile if that was as far as their bike could take them) while he was on break from medical school.

This is similar to where I had Risha headed. I imagine her as a wild card starting out, living on her own terms.

Things were moving along. I started thinking ahead to actual writing, and that’s where I had to stop and figure a few things out.

Does Risha get her own ship or not?

In the Star Wars: The Old Republic story that inspired my character, Risha’s a passenger on a smuggler’s ship, and eventually becomes the ship’s first mate. I started out imagining her as a smuggler in her own right. The problem is that Raffa, her future love interest, is already a smuggler — he was my smuggler in SWTOR. I’m stubbornly refusing to let go of having him in that role. But if they’re both flying their own ships, doing separate jobs, one of them needs to get their ship shot down, impounded, or otherwise taken out of action to force the two of them to work together.

I may have an “out” in that I also imagined Risha as the brains of their operation, and Raffa as the talent. Instead of owning her own ship, she prefers to stay on the ground, and hires different pilots to work for her depending on the job — sort of like how Malcolm Reynolds hired Wash to fly Serenity. She winds up having to work with Raffa out of necessity.

The spectre of Stephen King is whispering in my ear that I should “kill my darlings” and let Risha have her own ship — that if nothing else, I should try it out and see if it works. If I need her and Raffa to work together, then it’s up to me to justify it in the story.

Sometimes it’s like driving without a road map and praying that your destination’s on the other side of that next hill.


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