Monday, January 19, 2009

Day Eight: What? Werewolves???

Okay, I'll expand a bit on the last quote from yesterday's post.

I'm writing a fantasy novel. That much I pretty much made clear, I think. I began it about a year ago in play script format. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted this story to be, what I wanted it to say, and where it was going. I stumbled out of the game a couple of times, but eventually I got a good, strong script going. Then, about halfway through, I stalled. I still knew what I wanted to happen next, but it wasn't going too smoothly.

Along came NaNoWriMo, and I thought that would be an excellent motivation to plow through and get this thing finished. I re-started my story in novel format and gave myself the added motivation that the finished product would be written for my wife, given to her on December 25th.

As I went along treading the familiar territory that I'd covered once before as a script, I came to a point where I decided to make a little change. See, I'd revealed my main antagonist fairly early on in the play script, and I thought it would add a bit of drama and mystery if I either left that reveal for later or even changed my antagonist completely, so in his place I inserted some werewolves.

And then things got out of hand.

The werewolves were meant to play a large part in the first half of the story and then be finished, but that didn't work. The further in I got, the more involved in my plot they got. Further, their very presence made the story itself a bit darker than when it had been a play. At one point, it was a children's story, then a family entertainment. But these creatures had a different nature than anything I'd written before, and they started to get a tad frightening in places.

Soon, I'd come to the point in the story where I'd originally intended to release these characters from my narrative--remember, they hadn't even existed in my first plans for this story--but it no longer worked the way I'd envisioned it. Instead of wrapping up the werewolf angle, I intensified it. They were no longer a threat that I could so easily dismiss. In a way, the whole of the story had temporarily become about dealing with the werewolf problem.

I don't really even like werewolves!!!

That said, I'm very happy with where this story is. My wife has read up to what was finished, and she likes it. My test audience (wink, wink, you know who you are!) has liked it, too. The werewolves may have completely taken over my vision for this story, but I believe it is a better work because of it, so I can handle that.

Anyway, last night I finally wrapped up the werewolf arc of this novel. I'm very close to the end now. As I look forward to what is left, I realize that it is very similar to my original intention, back when it was going to be a short play for children.

I'm encouraged. I'm excited about the ending. I'm excited about getting it out to friends and read. I'm even excited about the rewrite, though I know that won't even begin for several months.

But if I write another of these books--and mind I do have an idea for a sequel--I swear: There. Will. Be. Absolutely. No. Werewolves.