May 29th, 2022
I said this blog post would be out in November 2021. It’s so late. I realized I couldn’t find the words for what I needed to say, and my lack of discipline is kicking my butt. Anyways, let’s go.
My first problem with BOTF was that I had no idea who the right main character was. I thought it was Lucy Snow, and it wasn’t. I discovered through feedback from my classmates that Axe Chambers is the main character of the story, which introduced another problem: Should Axe be black?
In my head, Axe Chambers is a tanned young man in his early twenties. He has dark green eyes and dark apple red hair. He uses hair gel and forms a duck tail that sits at the top of his forehead. He runs around in a black hoodie or jacket (depending on the weather) with a battle axe. He loves his job, and I love him this way. I can’t picture him any other way, but if he’s the main character and I am a woman of color . . . You see my “problem” here? Maybe it wouldn’t be a big deal if he didn’t save the world by the end of book three (3). I’ve read complaints on twitter about the “white messiah”. It made me reconsider Axe’s ethnicity.
My next realization was that my very first draft had too many “main” characters. We jumped point of views (POVs) frequently. I liked the difference in experience, daydreams, and thoughts, but it slowed down the story. It made the action scenes hard to follow.
the original cast
- Andrew Chamberland “Axe Chambers”
- Isaac St. Clair
- Clementine Lovell “Clem”
- Zachary Markinswell
- Luciana Snow “Lucy”
- Enrique Martinez
- Romeo Martinez
- Elsa Sharpe
- Constance Digby
- Terricus Findlay “Ty”
- And it went on and on . . .
I thought I needed all of these characters. They were a part of Axe’s Circle, if you will. He sees them every day. I insisted on keeping them in the draft for years . . . and then I made it to my last year of SCAD and had to write a pilot episode for a TV show. I took the assignment as an opportunity to finally straighten out BOTF. We’re talking about a project I created for myself in my last year of high school, and five years later, I am still having issues with it. I shrunk down the cast for my professor’s sake and I found out that the story flowed much better. The plot changed as well once I realized Axe was the true star. He had always been more interesting to write. I “heard” him the best.
I have to admit that adjusting the plot was probably the best course of action considering the original story. When Axe became the new main character, everything else shifted with it. Lucy was no longer the focus, which did a world of good, because Axe’s relationships were easier to write. It wasn’t that Lucy was boring and I would never figure her out, but her proximity to Axe meant so much more now that she was no longer the focus.
However, the lack of discipline brought this project to a standstill. I have beautiful ideas for it that still excite me, so the story still speaks to me, but I have been unable to proceed in either direction. My professor instructed the class to write a series bible, which did allow me to finish outlining the rest of this story after such a big change. Writing out the rest of the season (basically book one) for BOTF was the only real issue I had in that class, aside from rewriting the pilot four (4) times, but the story flowed so much easier once Axe was the star of the show.
My plan for Blood of the Fallen is to flesh out the pilot episode in prose. The pilot covers some ground, but its entirety would only translate to the first ten chapters of the book. The next step is confusing: Do I continue writing the story in screenplay format or should I possibly suffer and write it out in prose as well? Trying to figure this part out while not writing at all . . . is dumb. This is why I haven’t done anything, because I want to know all of the steps ahead of time. I lost my ability to improvise and adapt, but it’s never to late to get it back.
Like I mentioned in other posts, I am trying to cultivate some self-discipline before I call it quits. As you can imagine, the lack of writing really started to get to me. I would forget that I was in survival mode and I insisted that I should be able to write despite not feeling anything good. Now that I am out of that runt, I saw how hard I was being on myself. I am aiming for being more disciplined and nicer to myself.
So, the real first steps are to get back into writing and then focus on my projects. I will use writing prompts to get the juices flowing and then spend the rest of the writing session on my priorities: Sins of the Sun and Blood of the Fallen. I have to give myself something to work with.
We’ll see some scene snippets on Patreon in a little while, as well as a prequel story or two on the blog in the coming weeks.
Thank you for reading this update.