Last week I was battling with the “big moment”. This week, I still am. I know one problem I have to solve is my main character, Auberon’s big question in the novel. When I left off after the last book, he’d been through a lot of things. There’d been a murder and close family members had done things they probably shouldn’t have. Obviously, this has left Auberon feeling pretty crap, but he also feels that he can’t talk to anyone about it. He has two close friends but feels because they were quite embroiled in it all too, they are a little too close for comfort. Also, he finds it hard to express caring emotions for those so close to him, so instead of telling them how he feels, he is more likely to shut them off. The main thing he is looking for in this novel is for somebody who he’ll be able to put these emotions onto. I worded it in my notes as “All he needs is to find the right person to tell.”
And, as in all good novels, by startling coincidence, enter the right person. I think I have finally found a proper use for my new character. He had a complex (sort of) backstory that ties him to another character and will make situations that little bit more tense. Before now, I’ve been having trouble trying to make him useful. It’s easy to bring an outside party to shake things up, but it’s important to know how to use them properly. (It’s also easy to bring in new characters as plot points but hard remembering they have to be as rounded as the rest.) Instead of just tearing the friendships apart in the one way he was going to before, he’ll be a smaller part of a bigger trigger that sets everything off and starts pulling the friendships apart anyway.
A big part of this novel will be the characters playing off each other, always vying for each other’s attention (some more than others) and seeming to try very hard to get what they want. As this book is centred around European travel, a lot of time will be spent on trains, in sleeper carriages and in small spaces. The small spaces are going to be the cause of a lot of the little arguments beginning, tiny spats about lack of space and general annoyances – for example: one likes the window to be open, staying up late, sitting in silence to look out of the window, talking while admiring the landscape and so on.
Over time this will escalate and escalate and grow far worse. I really want to push my characters as far as they can go, possibly even to breaking point to see who snaps first. Two of the three main characters only really get on for the third’s sake, so I find it interesting to play around with who snaps first and why.
Exploring character motivation is a really interesting concept to me. For example, one of my characters is very passionate about travelling and seeing the world, so this is his motivation for going on the trip. Another character is going on the trip because the other two feel sorry for him so paid to have him accompany them. This has the opposite effect that they thought it would as he feels like they are pitying him and doesn’t want to feel like he is encroaching on their holiday.
All in all, some development has been made since last week. Now I just need to sit down and get on with the writing.
Current word count: 11,894
Currently reading: We Danced All Night – Martin Pugh