Well, I’ve been working out some characters on Storyist for iPad. I rather prefer Scrivener on the Mac, but unfortunately there’s no Storyist-to-Scrivener converter (as of this blogging) so I’m stuck thus far working with Storyist if I want a decently featureful novel writing software on my very portable iPad. Hopefully Scrivener will one day present an iPad version, in which case I’ll drop Storyist for iPad like a hot potato.
Anyways, I spent a little bit of time working out a Vietnamese-American proto-detective character’s goals, and a little bit of backstory; as well as his long-lost sister, and a little bit of backstory. Names, I need names. And, I know, actual personalities rather than simply backstories. I’m thinking of an eccentric personality for the man, and a serious and no-nonsense personality for the woman. Of course, they’ll need to be deeper than that, or else they’ll be rather cliche and shallow. I suspect character will come out of what they end up doing as I explore the ramifications of the backstories.
At first I thought this would be a rewrite of my defunct story, Crime and Violins, but as the idea germinated in my head I realized it was its very own thing.
I hope that the novel captures my own gradual journey into my lost Vietnamese heritage, as well as the terror of an emotionally and physically abusive family, the seediness of adopting a child trafficked into the underworld of international adoption, and the plight of internalized racism. I’m not entirely sure if this is enough; I want my novel to say something other than simply being a mystery, and I wonder if this is enough material to start off with contemplating this eventual goal of the text.
Because this is a mystery, I really do need to plan ahead. So that means, instead of going ahead and writing story, to start plotting out characters, scenes, plot points, etc.
As I’ve joined the Clarion Write-a-Thon for this year (I’ve got a rather bare profile and everything), I’ll be posting daily updates on my progress—no spoilers, but general thoughts about where I’m going with this, along with possible excerpts of any backstory or character exploratory text I end up writing.