NaNoWriMo continues excellently, but my characters are vexing me. The younger duo, Haldis and Connor, are refusing to be as grim as I want them to be. I’ve given up on anything like accurately representing PTSD in the first draft – that will take care and NaNo is not about care – and am settling for at least giving them some depressive traits and trying to keep them from being too affectionate, but it is a task and a half. They refuse to stop bantering, even when miserable and brutalised. They might be messed up, but they’ve got each other as a working support system, and that is supposed to be where they end up, not where they start. They have a little too much of their original-draft selves in them.

Either I keep trying to sink them a bit more – and I do have some good opportunities coming up – or I just run with their current form and de-emphasise that part of their intended arc, instead letting them focus more on their personal issues rather than interpersonal. That could work too, by avoiding any hint of Romantic Angst and instead showing a reasonably healthy relationship between two messed-up folks.  I’m kind of attached to the thread of them unwillingly being played up as the Glorious Battle Couple as part of the queen’s machinations, but maybe skipping that altogether would be the more robust story.  I would hate to feature gratuitous angst.

This is NaNo, of course, so I’ll probably just write whatever and make up my mind in January.

(Novel word count: 11,053 or thereabouts.)


2 comments on “Irrepressibility

  1. depizan says:

    That could work too, by avoiding any hint of Romantic Angst and instead showing a reasonably healthy relationship between two messed-up folks.

    I’ve got to say that would be a rather different thing to do. And, hell, there’s no reason why they can’t be both messed up and cheerful. There are tons of different coping strategies. Hell, I joke about my anxiety disorder.

  2. Will Wildman says:

    More and more I think that’s what I’m going to go with as I continue to write and eventually redraft. One of the things I’m finding I quite like about these characters is that, rather than having clear alignments and taking sides, none of them are at all sure about each other. The general and the queen were supposed to not get along, but they’re actually cooperating quite well, considering that neither of them trusts the other further than they could throw them and they substantially disagree on methods. The younger couple are proving to be very much in the ‘I’m not totally sure who you are but you seem fun and that is probably good for right now?’ range. It’s all a bit slapdash, but I’m actually kind of looking forward to refining the raw shape later.

    Connor does not get to be cheerful, though. Not until the latter portion of the book. That boy is All Of The Sads Forever.

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