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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

I'm glad I started this project--re-reading and posting old journal entries from when I was creating the first part of Lin's story. Through it I have embarked on an interesting personal journey. It's fun to see what I planned to have in the book and compare it to what it evolved into.

But enough of 2011 for now. Let's swirl back in time to 1992.


More snow. Eight inches over night-ick. Great neighbors. Someone cleared our driveway with their snow blower. Yes, there is a god. There is no way I would have been able do that myself with a shovel. Yes, David (teenage son) could have helped--tag-team! And if Bill were home and not in California!! Anyway, the neighbor must have seen us struggling and like a knight in shining armour came to our rescue. Bless him!

I'm making forward progress with the book. Wish I could get backwards as well. Guess I just need to get chapter one refined before I can move on. It's going like a jigsaw puzzle--one piece here, another there, yet another somewhere else all together. How will it all fit together?

Yikes! Chapter one is depressing. I can't wait to get out of it. It's so down and somber and dark. I was not made to be a soldier. Wow! Lin just snuck that one in on me. Thanks. Nothing short of a complete re-write will do. It all seems to be there now. If I could just shape it so that it flows better. And stop worrying about making it too long. This is a novel, I don't have to think about length--there are no such restrictions. I am my own bitterest enemy in this journey.

So. What do we have? Lin and Gareth. He's what? Six years older? A love match? Where do they meet, if Lin doesn't grow up in Camelot? Meet in the kitchen of Camelot. The Beaumains story from the Malory tradition? Gareth goes off on his fate first. Within a year Lin ends up learning her birthright. How? We'll work it out later. The friendship of Lin and gareth resumes, etc. Did Gareth and Lin marry? Good question. And what about Dafydd? And how does Lin get to the kitchen?

Lin's marriage would definitely be a frequent topic, since she's Arthur's daughter. Gawain (15 years older)would be first choice as husband. Gawain was head of that clan. Age wouldn't matter to parents. It would to Lin. She could work to convince them of a love match. She and Gareth are at least hand-fast/betrothed before he dies. (Malory tradition: Lancelot kills gareth in Guinevere's rescue.) In our story: how? Why? At Camlann?

Lin doesn't marry Gaheris (seven years older) right away after Camlann. A year later? When is Bear/Arthur conceived?

My head hurts! Time to rest and let things stew a bit. We'll come back to this later.

This was a fun entry to rediscover. Great insight to my process. It hasn't changed a bit. I still go roundabout with things. Get on tangents that I think are important to the book and fixate on them. Funny how none of that working in Camelot's kitchen ever wound up in Firebrand! I had some interesting scenes running through my head. And the book would have been very different had I gone that route. But I think I saw how cliched the scenario was.

Had to laugh about me fretting over things getting too long--I still have that trouble with book three!!

Thanks for reading,


Jason Matthews said...

Hi Debra,
Just followed your blog and enjoy your comments on Authonomy!

Debra A. Kemp said...

Thanks, Jason. Glad you found me and I have something of value for other writers. I often feel invisible on Authonomy!