Novella Halted, Novel Started & Research Commences

I know, you’re looking at the title of this post and going “Oh goodness gracious, this girl is nutters.”

I know I have the absolute worse track record when it comes to completing things, but remember the story I was talking about in this post? Well, one night after cruising the internet, looking at pictures of really hot men and creating fantasy castings for books-turned-movies, I decided, I will go forth with my story “Game of Hearts.” As it is, my (would be) novella is steeped in some kind of surreal fiction, and it would nice for a change for me to write something a little different, but equally entertaining AND a period piece at that. So, I decided that I’d give the novella a break so it can simmer on the back burner of the brain and went in search of an expert to help me with my new project.

A friend of mine (and fellow writer) is always writing pieces with the African diaspora, so I sent him a quick message about wanting to do a French period piece around people of African/mixed race descent. He was immediately hooked and as he gave me some references and points of research, I gave him a quick summation of where I’d like the general story to go and he was instantly in love with the idea. He even gave me a few things to consider which was great.

One of my inspirations: Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos & its 1988 film adaptation, Dangerous Liaisons

I told him of my apprehensions and then he said that “it’s been spoken to much into existence for you not to.” His encouragement was just what I needed, especially since he noted that many writer of color don’t think to go along the route of period pieces. So, after looking over the initial three paragraphs that I had written over a year ago, I started typing. And I typed. And then I started talking to myself aloud. And I found myself looking for paper (which I have an abundance of) and then I just opened up the post-it feature on my laptop and like…a breached flood, the plot outline for my story came to me. It has sex, intrigue, back-stabbing, rakish behavior, the marquise de sade (influences anyway), mistaken identity and people of color!

From three paragraphs, I’m now 28 pages into a story that I never thought would happen. 28 pages, however, of scattered plot, as I now how to tie in different elements from the outlined plot and the story doesn’t come to me chronologically. I like to say that my muse speaks to me but often has a sore-throat so I have to strain to hear her or she speaks staccato fragments to me that I then have to plug in different places to make sense.  The writing is no where near finished and I can’t imagine how many pages it’ll be when I’m done.

It would be a lie to say that I wouldn’t like to finish this by the end of the summer. For once, I’d like to completely finish a full fledge (potential) novel. I have three others I’ve started since high school waiting for me as well as my novella. I must break the cycle. This story must be finished. Especially since I’ve created all the story arcs for the main characters. Not to mention, I’ve started researching – yeah! – on the history of French caribbean islands, free color of people, historical clothing, condoms (yep, I want my people smart and shiz), architecture, & titles of nobility.

Wish me luck guys. I’m going in.

As the story continues, I intend on leaking some scenes (maybe even a sex scene or two) for your reading pleasure.

W/love,

-Alja

One comment on “Novella Halted, Novel Started & Research Commences

  1. I am wishing you ALLL the luck in the world. Did you say Maquis de Sade?! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!! My muse is currently away from me but Im not worried because while she takes her break from whispering sweet nothing into my ear, I take that time to research things that’ll make my stories tighter. Good luck, hunny bunny.

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