If you haven’t heard, I’m working on a novel. It has only modest prospects, I don’t think it’ll ever make it in print, but I’ll send it out to publishers for sure. My favourite post on this blog was Alice and Finch: Negative Dawn, now simply called Inck Alice. I liked it so much, that I submitted it to an upcoming online magazine! Fingers crossed I guess. Anyway, this novel was started before that post was ever even thought up, I began at about mid April. If you liked Alice and Finch, you might be pleased to know that Finch is a large supporting character in the book. At the end of the three part short story series, Finch gives up on- Well, I won’t spoil it, but he decided to become a guard. Captain in fact. In the novel, he’s at the rank of Vice-Captain.
So in the first novel update, I said “I’m going to write tonight, and tomorrow I’ll write up a post on what the plot is and where it’s going.” This is that post.
So last night it took a lot of effort, but I put myself into the chair, looked for a pen for about five minutes, and then started writing. I wrote and wrote until I got so tired and jittery that my words began to form together into long sweeping messes. Then I stopped, tracked my progress, and called it a night. Wow! Eleven pages! I’m pretty happy with that, you know?
So Natasha is about… Natasha. Surprised? Well, let me explain who Natasha is. I’ll start with the writer. Do we still study the writer when we look at fiction? I didn’t in High School, but I did in University. So, since the inception of the Solune Royal family in 2013, the amount of children has been growing. It started with just one, Chloe. Then Came Janna, and Natasha. Later on, Natasha’s twin Kain and later still the oldest child, the evil Zeallott. Finally, this summer, the outcast Crystal Jealousy was added as the new oldest child. I also know that in the future, the King and Gwenhime have a child but he/she doesn’t exist yet, so I’m not worried.
Anyway, as the years passed, I focused on one child at a time, usually through my art. See, first I was an artist, but only at the hobbyist level. Then, more recently (around September 2016) I began writing seriously. The first one was Chloe, Chloe and Yaska, the main characters of the Legendary Event, a story I’ve been sitting on for a while now. And by a while I mean nearly half a decade.
After that, I moved onto Janna, the older sister, more confident and forward sister. Actually, I wrote a short piece on her here. I actually switched back to Chloe when I started my previous, vastly inferior (but still sort of active) blog. Wrote a story about her on the Underside which ended up making no sense and is still unfinished.
Finally, Natasha. I still don’t have a good drawing of her, I’ll have to fix that. Natasha was the oldest for a long time before Zealott was added. She’s very similar to her father, the King (I know I haven’t given him a name. He doesn’t have one right now.) Calm, focused, stern, wise, and calculating. It’s been interesting writing as her, because at first to both readers and myself, she came off as boring. But, as I dived deeper I realized this wasn’t the case. Natasha had some desires, passions, and tenancies that were very interesting. She’s fully capable now of carrying a plot on her own.
I’m working through the first draft right now, I just passed my hundredth page. It took seventy pages for me to figure out what the book was even about. At first it was just about Natasha getting promoted from Castle Guard Captain to Murdock City Guard Captain. Then I wanted to add some questioning of capitalism, with a thief who was stealing unusual objects for reasons I’m not going to spoil.
The problem is that that plot ended really fast. I planned a nice arc with her investigating the thief and then finally apprehending him. I wrote about seventy pages on that outline. It had a cool climax with undercover elements, but then that was it. I had run out of plot at seventy pages. As you know, I’ve continued writing, just reaching out my tendrils towards natural character and plot development. Now that Natasha isn’t “stuck” on the thief plot, she’s trying to get some abandoned buildings from the town to set up a barracks. She’s redoing the guard patrol routes. She’s revamping the minimum fitness policy due to her issues pursuing the thief. He climbed very fast, and Natasha had never climbed. Finch, the Vice Captain, is eager now that the old unreasonable Captain has retired. He’s trying to get Alice back into the town!
A lot of stuff is happening, and it’s great, but it’s also unfocused. There are two things in my eyes that make a story fail. First, it’s leads the reader to expect one thing then disappoints them by doing something else (Golden Time, Guardians of the Galaxy 2). The second is that it’s unfocused, which makes it a boring read. I don’t really want that, so I might make another outline for the second half.
I’m almost excited for my second draft now, since I know I’ll be integrating the thief plotline into something much bigger. Honestly, I’d be interested in having no protagonist. Just Natasha working against the system and hitting roadblocks and setbacks. I think I can do it. You don’t always need a physical antagonist, in fact, I’ve always thought of that kind of thing as an easy way out. You can just have a character embody all the things you’re protagonist is trying to fix or stop or whatever. Then solving all their problems is easy! Just kill/apprehend the bad guy!
So, here are some goals for codename Natasha.
- Plan the second part of the book
- Do a second draft that combines and unifies all the elements
- Send the second draft out to beta readers, and put it aside for a bit (heard it’s good to stay away before doing a rewrite, so that you don’t gloss over mistakes you’re familiar with.)
In reality, I’ll put it up for publishing. I really think this book can hit publishable levels, especially after reading some really bad published work… If it fails, I still want to send it to readers though, so I’ll self publish and market through this blog, and also facebook.
So, That’s project Natasha in a nutshell.
Next time I might hit up the inspiration, talk about the thief character, or something like that. If you’re interested in what got this book rolling in the first place, I’ll be uploading and linking the story here soon. Keep an eye out for it, by following or returning!
How’s your novel going? Have one in mind that you haven’t really started? Tell me about it!