Friday, October 17, 2014

Fun with Notes: Sebastian

You ever have one of those characters that just won't leave you alone? Who butts in during brainstorming sessions or even when you're writing the first draft and says "Hi! This random postman could be me!"?

Mine is Sebastian. Sebastian is going to be the eventual husband of one of the MCs of my WIP. He wasn't supposed to enter my storyworld for a few books to come, but he kept bugging me and bugging me and then the inevitable happened.

He developed a personality.

An awesome personality.

And now I'm as anxious as he is to write about him as he is to be written about.

He will definitely be in the sequel to Noxumbra because I ship him and that MC so hard it hurts.

But before this lovely new development, he was just an annoying plot bunny who would poke his head in random places when I wrote. Below are some snippets about him I've found in various brainstorming docs and revision notes.

[Note: I've replaced the MC's name and the villain's name because spoilers.]


Okay, would [MC] and Co. have met [villain] before the giant climax at the end? If it did, I’d have to introduce more characters. Like [villain]. I could potentially introduce Sebastian, if he’s a criminal. Not sure he should be, though. A world traveler, perhaps, but a criminal… nah. Maybe he’s a postman.


A partner. Who travels a lot, sees the world, and such. Someone like a postman. Someone like Sebastian.
No. We’ve already said we don’t want Seb to be a criminal.
Now what would be really weird is if Seb were a friend of Delly’s.
Seb wouldn’t need to be a criminal to be part of this.


Have Seb bring the letter with the details?  Sigh. Seb. You just won’t go away, will you?


… Is Seb one of the sailors?
No! He’s the postman, remember?
… He could be a sailor…
Do we really want [MC] to end up with a smuggler? Come on, postman is so much better. After all the crud we put her through in this book and the next, she deserves a nice guy who isn’t a criminal.
But reformed criminal is so much more interesting….
Sigh. We’ll deal with this later. 


Could be Seb, if I want to introduce him here.
Curse you, Sebastian. You’re not welcome in this book.


... Maybe this constable is Sebastian.

SEBASTIAN USP/MOORLAND/WHATEVER. How many times do I need to tell you that you are not welcome in this story?
Though I do like the idea of him having a cameo in this book. Bit of foreshadowing.


Random idea: Sebastian was a postman who got shanghaied. He found out something by accident, and then got “recruited” onto [villain]’s ship, and then he switches sides and helps [MC] and Co.
[We argue.]
NOW SHUT UP. WE’VE ARGUED LONG ENOUGH AND I HAVE TO FIGURE OUT THIS ENDING. (Though he is probably right in that I wouldn’t be that mean to poor [MC].)

Though I do like the idea of maybe a sailor switching sides and maybe sticking around for Book 2. (SHUT UP, SEBASTIAN.)


-          I’d kinda like to throw in a reporter. Maybe Sebastian. (DUDE PICK AN IDENTITY AND STICK WITH IT ALREADY.)


Maybe Seb is both a reporter and a mailman.
Yeah, but that means he has to travel, and I’m not sure I want [MC] to have her husband away all the time.
We could break his leg. Make him stay at home.
Uh-huh. How ‘bout we deal with this later?
What if he is a mailman who wants to be a reporter? So he delivers mail to support a writing career.
He’d still go traveling, and I don’t know that I like that.
[MC] could always go with him, but then what if they had a baby? Plus I don’t know that [MC] would like to be on the road all the time. Maybe for a little while, but she’d want to stay in Noxumbra.


In case you were wondering, turns out Sebastian isn't a postman. He's the son of a well-to-do merchant. He's missing one ear and looks like a pirate. (Do you know how hard it is to find pictures of people with missing ears on Pinterest?) MC's friends are going to tease her by calling him "the pirate." My dear Sebastian's been sailing around with his father and brothers since he was a teen, but he's not sure he wants to do that for the rest of his life, though he does enjoy it. 

Have you ever had a character like this? What did he/she do to you? 

This is part four in my Fun with Notes series. Click here to see part one and part two and part three

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Short Story: All Characters Go to Heaven

Hello, chaps.

A week or so ago, I was brushing my teeth and an idea came to me about what happens when characters die. I think it all started with the image of "fog black as ink" and the idea of Elsa from Frozen being a writer who can produce said fog. The result was the following short story. Enjoy. Any feedback you want to give is welcome.


The fog was black, as if it were clouds of ink vapor rising instead of water.
Niall blinked. Where was he? How had he gotten here? There was nothing but the fog. He couldn’t see a sky, nor walls nor landscape to either side. The only thing he was sure of was that there was something solid beneath his feet. He took a deep breath. The fog smelled like ink too. As he exhaled it swirled in the air, curling and twisting in blue-black puffs.
Niall took a step forward, and a small pain shot through his chest. He looked down. There was a hole the size of a child’s fist in his shirt, letting the skin on his chest show. In his mind, he heard the shouts of soldiers falling, saw a flare of fire, Vi’s face as she threw herself over a fleeing refugee, felt the pain in his chest again, this time stronger.
He’d been hit with something. A piece of shrapnel, probably. But the skin beneath his shirt was fine. There was no blood.
Did that mean he was…?
The dark fog shifted, caught in a breeze. It swirled forward, as if leading him. He followed it.
After a few steps, the fog cleared to reveal a throne, and a woman sitting on it. The throne fanned out behind her head, it’s tall, pen-like spikes shooting into the air. No, they weren’t just pen-like, they were actually pens. Very large pens.
The woman smiled at him. “Hello, Niall.” She wore a circlet of typewriter keys on her head.
Typewriter keys? There were no typewriters where Niall was from. How did he know what they were?
Niall coughed. “Are you…?”
Her smile widened. “I am The Author. Yes.”
“So that means I’m dead.” With a wound like he’d remembered, there was no chance he could have survived.
The Author cocked her head to one side.  “In a way, yes.”
Niall nodded. It was only a matter of time before this happened. If it hadn’t have been him, it would have been Vi or Zeke or Jenkins. Or maybe all of them. That’s how war worked. “So, what happens now?”
“You pass on. You go through that door. Very simple, really.” She gestured to one side, and the fog condensed into the form of a black door with a crystal handle.
“That’s all?”
“That’s all.”
Niall gazed at the door.
“Do you have any questions before you go?” The Author asked.
“Yes.” Niall looked back at her. “Vi and Zeke, do they…?”
“Yes, they survive. It’s in The Plot.” The Author’s smile became gleeful. “They survive, and Vi finds her little girl again. They go back to Spryll and live a good life. Zeke ends up becoming a cheese maker, though no one but me will ever know that. It’s in The Plot, but too much detail for The Book. Anything else?”
“Why do I know those are typewriter keys? There are no Typewriters in Ootwox.”
“Ah, but you’re not in Ootwox anymore, are you? You’re in my Mind. People in the Mind have access to all the information I have.”
Niall nodded. That made sense. He glanced back at the door. “I’m ready.”
The Author waved her hand, and the door opened.
“That better be someone dead and not some cheeky spawn of a plot bunny,” a female voice said.
The Author rolled her eyes. “You’re all cheeky spawn of a plot bunny.” She looked back at Niall. “That’s Joy. All the Unwritten stay in there too until it is time for their Story. She’s been waiting for her Story for a few years now. She’s impatient.”
“It doesn’t help that the lop-eared pirate over here gets a story before I do,” Joy’s voice said.
“I’m not a pirate!” said another voice, this one male. “And my true love awaits!”
The Author glared at the door. “Joy, Sebastian, shut up. I’ll get to your Stories eventually.” She turned back to Niall. “If you think you can handle those two, the door is ready for you.”
Niall smiled. “I’ve dealt with Characters like them before.” He’d be in good company. He nodded to The Author. “Thank you.” He stepped through, and the door closed behind him.