China Took a Back Seat

Writing begets writing. Today’s Obvious Day at! But sometimes I have to take comfort in obviousness, especially if it moves the novel forward.

In my previous post, I talked about my plans to build out fictional China, because it’s going to be important soon. But realized that my protagonist, Melchizedek “Dek” Conrad, was seriously cross with me. He was like, “I’m your main character. I’m supposed to drive the plot. But where’s my hook? Where’s my drive? Where’re my flaws? I’m just standing around!”

It didn’t help that I recently read Dave D’Alessio’s post “The Protagonist is a _____ But _____” on his site Confessions of an Overage Otaku. Mr. D’Alessio often posts useful writing insights. In this case, it got Dek all worked up.

So, the bad-ish news is that no, contrary to what I thought in early January, China was not “next.” To keep Dek from staging a full-blown rebellion and involving the other characters (I’m sure I was days away from Matsushita Sachi joining in, and I just don’ t have the energy to fight her, too!), I began building out Dek’s setup, and with him, some more of TransStell’s organizational chart. I started with 17 beats. I’m up to 25. That’s in about a month.

Behold! This is what progress looks like! Okay, it’s slow progress, but some of us prefer illusion to despair…

That’s more than I’d done most of last year, so it looks like cutting back on my anime review time and focusing more on the novel is starting to pay off!

As I wrote the beats, I found callbacks to the prequel. In fact, a lot of Dek’s motivation comes from the later scenes in Divinity Ascending. So that’s progress, too!

So, let’s see how much I can get done in February. I’m not going to look very far ahead; I’m going to focus on this line in this beat; then the next line; then the next.

Let’s hope I can keep Dek happy! Maybe he’ll stop complaining. Or maybe I don’t want him to…