Daily Writing Check-in: January 18, 2019

Words/Time: 46 minutes minutes doing some early revision of “Pursuit of Power.”

I continued to read through more of the story, making broad changes. Today I only got through about 9 pages of 436, ending on page 189. However, approximately 4 pages (about 660 words) of that was writing a new scene that has been needed badly since the first draft.

When I wrote the first draft of this story, the first few lines of my outline basically just had the main character, Alexander, learning about and falling in love with Power while growing up a little. With no real details planned, I ended up spawning a new character, named Garend, almost immediately, someone who could be a childhood friend for Alexander (well, they were 15 when they met, but both in need of a friend).

But then by halfway through the book, when the story turns a lot more dangerous and serious, and Alexander and the secondary main character Leahna are in their twenties, Garend just…disappears.

After the first draft was finished, I realized this huge, gaping hole, and brainstormed some ideas for how to get Garend to exit more gracefully (and realistically), because I knew I couldn’t keep him as a close friend of Alexander’s later in the story, with how complicated things get.

The resulting story arc is one I am very happy with, because it fits very well in the long-term story that this is part of, but I still had to make it work. Today was the pivotal scene for that story arc, which is why it took a while to write. But I’m pretty content with it for now, and will be moving on to swifter revisions now.

A Monday Moment: Garend

Garend is a minor character in “Pursuit of Power” who needed a little fleshing out. He’d disappeared halfway through the story, so I came up with a reason why. Today’s Monday Moment is a brief look into his life, events happening before and during “Pursuit of Power.”

It was just me and my dad for a lot of my life. I never knew my mom. Dad and I had a really good life in Torreo, as good a life as anyone can have in that territory. We didn’t live in the principle city though. We lived south of the mountains, along the southern shore of Pithea. The beach. There’s a small town called Qulu. It’s so separated from the rest of Pithea, I think some of the folks there forget the rest of the country exists. Maybe the rest of the country forgets Qulu exists too.

My dad served as Controller for all of southern Torreo, which wasn’t much more than Qulu. There was a sort of prestige that came with that position and with being the son of someone in that position. It was a nice life. Until the Power death.

I was eleven when he was diagnosed. He found it himself—another perk of his job. He was able to get into isolation early, and they say that’s why he lived longer than others usually do. It wasn’t much of a life, though.

He had to quit his job, and I went to live with a neighbor. I visited Dad every day, but we couldn’t do more than talk. Some friends of my dad, I think they might have also been Controllers, came around a lot at first. They said they would find a way to help him. Maybe they didn’t know people have been working on that for years.

Dad died over a year after the Power death came. I was sent to live with a foster family in Jaffna Territory, near the principle city, after I’d finished school. Just before I turned thirteen and my common training started.

My dad’s friends, the ones who promised to help him, told me they would find my mom. When she knew what happened, that I was all alone, she’d come for me, they said.

My dad never explained why my mom wasn’t around—if she’d run off and left us, if she was missing at sea, or in a coma. I never knew. I imagined fun things when I was younger, like that she was a princess in a far-off land and couldn’t leave her people. But when my dad died, I decided I didn’t care. She wasn’t there, and that was all that mattered.

Then one of the men showed up again when I was fifteen. When he told me my mom wanted me to come live with her, I said I didn’t care. He could tell her I liked my home, my friends, my life, and who was she to try to make me leave all that?

It took her quite a while after that to come for me herself. She lived far away. When she explained to me where our family came from, who we were, it didn’t take long for me to change my mind. It was time to start a new life.