And I’m already starting to freak out a little.
Overall, my goal for NaNo isn’t to get to 50,000, because I am a really slow writer and it’s just not happening. But I would like to get started on a three to four month writing plan, which will hopefully lead to the first draft of a novel.
But logistics are boring, and I want to talk about my book.
You could say The Sleepless Ones was started back when I was sixteen. In one of my many notebooks, I scribbled down a scene, starting with the following lines:
“The child stirred in Maggie’s lap, and she drew her arms tighter, more for her own comfort than the boy’s. Anna’s eyes filled with tears; Catherine’s head swung around, and her eyes dared the girl to make a sound.
Fauna was aching to stretch out her legs, for she could scarcely feel them; but she knew that the position she had chosen when they had entered this tiny space was the position she was going to hold for the rest of this tense wait.”
Not a bad start, actually, although you can see I had a thing for semi-colons back then. I went on to do nothing with this scene, until I looked at the notebook years later and said to myself, hey, this is actually kind of interesting. In four pages, I introduced a world of magic and witch hunts, with strange races of people, from Ferals to the outcast gray-skins.
The Sleepless Ones, however does not include witch hunts, Ferals, or gray-skins. There is no Catherine, Anna, Maggie, or any of the other characters I created in those short pages. Actually, the only character I’ve kept is Fauna, and she hasn’t even gotten to keep her name.
Now, she’s Acantha. Acantha is a wealthy young woman living in a world where magic is for the lower class, for servants. She’s modeled, a little, on Mary from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Secret Garden, in that she’s pretty spoiled. Acantha goes to parties and flirts and enjoys her privileged life, but one night, she’s woken from her sleep by her servant, who hands her over to woman named Eri. She’s then taken to a small group of nomads, and from them she learns that her parents are dead.
If I’m really accurate, The Sleepless Ones is the result of three different stories I’ve attempted. I’m constantly recycling characters and ideas, and this story owes a lot to two other stories, Falconbridge and Water and Words. I won’t blather on about those stories; I’m sure they’re of no interest to anyone but me.
Falconbridge produced a character named Fidelis, who ended up being moved to Water and Words. Now he’s made his way in this story–and here comes one of the crazy magical races I’ve made up. Fidelis is faeceus, a cursed member of the fata race. As for the fata, they’re the keepers of secrets. It is said that the ancestor of the faeceus betrayed his secret, and for his sin, all his descendants are marked as impure. Fidelis is one of the nomads.
Okay, that’s a lot of backstory that’s probably kind of boring. What’s this book about, anyway?
Mostly, it’ s about the Princes. Think of them as angels. They’re divine, they’re immortal, but they don’t really do a whole hell of a lot. Still, there are some people in the lower class who are working against the Princes. Acantha is told that her parents were killed because they were working against the Princes, but she doesn’t believe that’s true. But there’s a lot Acantha’s parents kept from her, and as the book goes on, more secrets about her family and about Acantha herself are revealed.
So maybe that’s just interesting to me, but I’m going to see this whole thing through.