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Maybe I Can Write Again

August 12, 2016

Sometimes I make lists in my head, about things that I would like to see in books (specifically fantasy books, since that is what I read the most). They go like this:

  • “We hate each other, and we have to go on a quest together, and everyone expects us to fall in love, but we come back and we still hate each other.”
  • “I’m spending a cold, wet, hungry night out here in the forest, not because I have to hide from enemies or because I have no money for an inn, but because an inn would mean talking to people and I’m too shy for that.”
  • “and going on a quest didn’t magically cure me of being shy”
  • “Hey, adopted peasant’s child, you’re actually secretly the prince/princess and we’ve come to bring you back to court” – “are you kidding me, can’t you see we’re in the middle of harvest, there’s a lot of work, I can’t leave now.”
  • alternately, nobody turns out to be secret royalty, because why does that always have to happen
  • LGBT characters whose sexual orientation/gender identity is not a source of drama
  • also, characters of colour. And not just one in a whole cast of white people
  • and characters with disabilities
  • just diversity in general
  • “I got captured by enemies because the only hiding place was full of spiders and those are scarier than torture or death.”
  • “there’s something really important going on, and I can’t tell what it is because my eyesight is too bad”
  • “I’m sorry, I can’t save the world today, I’m on my period and my cramps are too bad”
  • “and then [name] went -” “which [name]? There are five of them in this village alone, will you ever learn to tell me who you mean?”

And probably a lot more that I can’t remember right now, because as I said, I only ever make those lists in my head.

DSC00880 Sempervivum

Seemingly random picture, because I don’t like posts without pictures, and it’s actually sort of relevant to the story, although I’m not telling you why…

And I’m putting a lot of them into a story idea that still doesn’t even have a working title, even though it’s over a year old. So let’s call it… uh… Nettle Patch. It makes sense to me because of where the story idea comes from (it literally happened in a nettle patch), and I can probably work it into the story somehow.

I’ve been thinking about that story again today, after talking with my mother about it on the drive back from the Netherlands on Monday – she was very enthusiastic about it and kept telling me to sit down and write it.

I don’t have much plot yet. But I have the main characters, and some worldbuilding, and I’ve added some more to that today.

It was kind of funny, I was thinking about one of the religions I made up for this story (or, well, the vague idea of a religion) and randomly thought, “that is such a Hufflepuff religion.” Because it’s a lot about kindness and treating everyone the same. And then thought, “and that other religion is such a Slytherin religion.” By which I don’t mean it’s evil, but it does seem to value ambition more. And then I had an even more vague idea of a third religion, and thought, “it would make sense for them to value courage, so here’s a Gryffindor religion. Now all I need is a Ravenclaw religion.”

And that thought grew and connected to others, and whoops, more worldbuilding and a motive of sorts for my villainess. I wasn’t even sure until today if my villain would be male or female, but with this new stuff, female is the only thing that makes sense.

And now I should go and actually write down those ideas, I suppose. It would be very sad if I forget any of them. (And I’m not putting them on my blog, because I like them too much to risk anyone else using them.)

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Alice deGrey permalink
    August 12, 2016 21:08

    Your list made me laugh. Also, what a coincidence! I read two books that incorporate two of the items on that list. In case you’re interested:

    “LGBT characters whose sexual orientation/gender identity is not a source of drama”
    The Raven Cycle (four books) by Maggie Stiefvater

    “also, characters of colour. And not just one in a whole cast of white people”
    The Butterfly Finale by Viano Oniomoh (a young author who self-published her book – plus I just realized this fits the above item too, there are so many gay characters in it!)

    Your new idea sounds really exciting! Yay for worldbuilding and HP-related subtext! Maybe something for NaNoWriMo?

    • August 12, 2016 21:11

      I keep seeing people mention the Raven Cycle, so maybe I have to look into that. And I read your review, and thought, yeah, maybe I should put that one on the list too. (The list that I should actually write. I keep meaning to buy books and then forget.)

      I hope I can get my worldbuilding and research done in time for November, because I’d really love to write this one for NaNo!

      • Alice deGrey permalink
        August 12, 2016 21:15

        Which review? I think I only reviewed book 2 and 3 which doesn’t even begin to cover how much I love that series. I think you’ll like it too, although I don’t know a lot about your reading tastes. The author is awesome too, I’ve watched so many interviews and talks with her on YT because she’s really good at telling funny stories. Sort of like Pat Rothfuss.

        Anyway, good luck with the project!

        • August 12, 2016 21:19

          I meant the review of the Butterfly Finale. Sorry, kind of tired already, so that might not have been so clear.

          • Alice deGrey permalink
            August 12, 2016 21:26

            No worries, I realized afterwards you probably meant that one. Fingers moved too quickly for my thoughts. 😀

  2. August 13, 2016 23:22

    “I’m sorry, I can’t save the world today, I’m on my period and my cramps are too bad” <—This!

    All kidding aside, this sounds like the kind of book I'd like to read. 🙂

    • August 13, 2016 23:32

      That line has actually become one of the points were a bunch of ideas for Nettle Patch connected and made a surprising amount of sense.

      I might have read a manuscript in which a character was on her period and needed to go lie down. I might have cheered loudly.
      I hope this makes it into the final version.

  3. lvdpal permalink
    August 16, 2016 10:30

    Ooh, ooh, ooh! I get to recommend a friend of mine: Corinne Duyvis. She’s Dutch but she’s written two novels in English and both have diverse characters. Otherbound and On the Edge of Gone. They’re awesome!

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