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The distance they travel

You realize just how long the idea for The Halfway Hero has been chasing me when I tell you that it first popped into my head shortly before I took my first trip to Britain, which was way back in the spring of 2003. I remember being kind of frustrated, because I really liked the idea, but I knew I didn't have time to write it before I left, and I suspected (rightly) that I would have lost that spark by the time I got back. (In fact, I blogged about this frustration at the time--the two characters mentioned there have become Jarad and Sesili.) Little did I know I'd find the spark again four and a half years later. :D

In that time, though, a lot of things have changed. For ex,

-the original idea was about a hero who'd won lots of battles having a stand-in to do his public appearances for him, since those were occasions when he would be an easy target for assassins. Possibly also the real hero was ugly/disfigured/had some other reason for not wanting people to see his face. So originally my main character was the brains/charisma to the real "hero"'s brawn. But over time I started thinking, y'know, stories are always about the brains (maybe because we writers tend to be a little brainy ourselves). And besides, it didn't make much sense that they'd be able to pull off a deception like that. So I switched it around so that my stand-in was standing-in in battle, where he could wear a helmet to hide his face, and the real "hero" handled the strategizing and public stuff.

-the original idea was set in a quasi-medieval world. The landscape was kind of desert-y, but otherwise, everything was pretty standard European middle ages. Thinking about it years later, when I finally got around to making a real outline for it, I recalled how sick I was of fantasies always being medieval European. And hey, I already had a desert. So I did some reading and my world transformed into a quasi ancient Mesopotamia/Sumeria/Egypt/Mediterranian.

-the original storyline (what little I had of one) was much more light-hearted, with a lot more focus on romance. This may be why I never got very far with that storyline. Harassing, torturing, and killing characters has turned out to be the best possible thing for the plot of this book. :P

One of the few things that's stayed the same are the names of those two main characters. They have always been Jarad and Sesili, albeit previously spelled differently. And my magic system for this world has always worked the same way (the way people get magic power, and how animals who've been exposed to magic change, both play a major role in my short story "Tongue-Tied", which is set in the same world. If anyone here remembers that--I think a few of you read it but that was a while ago). And, strangely enough, the ending has always been pretty much the same. I had this very clear image in my head of the final scene. The things they talk about may end up being different, the props have shifted with the change in cultures, but in essence they'll be doing exactly the same thing as they were four and a half years ago. Kind of funny, isn't it, that I knew where they were going all that time ago, and I've only just figured out how the hell they get there?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 15th, 2007 04:22 am (UTC)
Stories are so fascinating to me, how they take different journeys to getting out of one's head.
Nov. 15th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
It's amazing, isn't it? Sometimes I wish they were a little more predictable, so I could know that, yes, someday I will finally get to do something with this idea or that one, but I kind of like the mysteriousness of it all, too. :)
Nov. 15th, 2007 10:09 am (UTC)
That's a brilliant concept; it makes me wish the book was out there on the shelf so I could run and pick it up. And yay for non-traditional settings!

Go you!
Nov. 15th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D In a way I think (I hope) it's easier for me writing in a non-traditional setting, because then I don't have so many preset ideas of how the world is supposed to work, because I haven't read so many of those sort of worlds before.

And it may not be on a shelf yet, but *coughs* I will certainly be seeking readers very shortly. ;)
Nov. 16th, 2007 12:52 am (UTC)
Just tell me when it's ready and I will be lined up to beta-read! :-)
Nov. 15th, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to read it!!
Nov. 15th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
If you're up for it, you may not have to wait very long. ;) I'm aiming to have it done by Sunday now, Monday at the latest, and I'll probably be posting for readers immediately thereafter.
Nov. 15th, 2007 06:37 pm (UTC)
Gimme gimme!

I am losing speed with nano anyway. Instead of working on it this morning before work I started a new outline for Lady of the Rocks . . . :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books

Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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