So here I am, a little over 37 hours into November. The month didn’t begin quite as planned, as I had a big deadline at work and had to stay a little late to get things finished – such is bidding. This meant I was working for the first four hours of yesterday and sleeping much of the rest, but after a late afternoon false start I wasn’t happy with, I did manage to make a real start some time after 11pm last night, and got 770 words done before midnight and another 696 before I went to bed at 1am.
So how did the opening go? Well, the first version wasn’t so good, and after less than 200 words (which I haven’t counted toward my total) I gave up and went to watch Thor: The Dark World at the cinema (brilliant film, by the way, lots of funny moments, some quite touching). After I got back, though, my second attempt was better. The first version was conceptual, too narrative a feel. The second attempt I think I captured the character’s emotional state a lot better.
The start ended up a lot darker than I expected. I never really envisioned this story as a grimdark sort of story, and there are certain types of violence I won’t be going near, but the opening – where Fiarra is a slave in a copper mine and the slaves overcome the guards to escape – did turn out darker than I expected. A bit of gore and some sinister undertones.
I do wonder, though, about this opening. I’d always determined that her time as a slave in the mine broke something in Fiarra, serving later as motivation to not allow herself to be like that again. As such she’s not part of the escape plans. In fact she wasn’t even aware of the escape going on around her until Siko comes along and leads her up the ramp out of the mine. I don’t know if this will work. I have introduced the protagonist as someone who is passive, and I wonder if this will drive readers away before Fiarra turns things around and regains her passion and vitality. Still, I think it’s important character building, as a major part of Fiarra’s personal story arc involves coming to terms with what happened to her and how she acted. So I guess I’ll see.
Overall, though, I’m happy with that I managed yesterday and I’ll continue today in the same vein. I might need to adjust the narrative voice a little – it’s too much of me, not enough of Fiarra – but otherwise things are going well, if not as productively as planned.