Yo nerds. Earlier in the week I kicked off the Stark Writes series by rambling a lot about my writing method. In part 2 of The Rising Author Tag, I will be answering questions that are focussed more on my current projects.
Hey ho. Let’s go!
What’s your current project about, and what’s it’s status?
I have 3 projects on the go at the moment. But the one I want to focus on in this series has a working title of Deduction. This working title was chosen at complete random, and has absolutely no relevance to the story.
Deduction is still in the early stages of planning, so I don’t want to give away too many details at the moment. Some of the themes I’m trying to include involve; feeling lost, trying to find your tribe, the problems of living in a large society, mental health illnesses, and people starting with good intentions but losing their way. It also explores what it means to feel safe, comfortable, and accepted in life.
Introduce us to your characters
Some of the main characters from Deduction:
Ellie Waker – She is our protagonist. She lives at home with her mum and step-dad. She argues a lot with them. She is 17 years old and doing her A-levels. She is shy, introverted and doesn’t have any friends in college. She appreciates unusual ways, and is a huge fan of old movies and 70s motown music. She likes to write notes, lists, and letters, on paper, with a fountain pen.
Isaac – Isaac plays a huge part in the story, but the less said about him, the better. He’s about 35 years old. He presents as smart, caring and desperate to make a way of life that brings happiness to everyone.
Thalia Roisin – All in good time.
Emma – Emma was Ellie’s friend, until she moved away. Ellie writes letters to Emma. She misses her, and feels lost in life without her.
Jessica (or Jess) – Jess is also studying for her A-levels. She meets Ellie at college and befriends her.
Scott – Scott is Jess’s older boyfriend and best friend of Isaac. I haven’t really decided how much of a part he plays in the overall story.
There are 2 other characters I have sketches for, but you don’t need to know about them just yet.
Out of the characters you’ve written so far, who are your favorites?
Probably Isaac from Deduction. He’s spellbinding at times. He’s very good at capturing people’s attention, full of charisma and charming. He’s like a bright light to a bunch of moths. He presents with an air of enlightened intelligence just by the way he speaks. He’s very calm, but intense. Enchanting almost. He often does things that surprises me.
I have a character called Charlie from another project, Fluctuation. Charlie is sweet and adorable. He’s very naive about the world. He never instigates anything, but will happily go along with a situation out of curiosity.
There is also a character in Fluctuation that I love spending time with. But we don’t see them too often. They are referred to as The Elder. They live in a space that can only be found by outsiders if The Elder wants to see them. Wouldn’t that be nice. It’s difficult to age them, as time doesn’t work the same for them as it does for regular people. Who and what they are, is still somewhat of a mystery to me.
Share a snippet of your writing.
I don’t really have anything that can be shared from Deduction. Fluctuation is on hold for the moment, but I can share a passage from that.
It had just turned November and the weather had started to feel like winter was coming. The areas of grass still under shade had a coating of frost. Charlie could feel his hands starting to sting in the cold. His gloves were also in the locked number 5 Walkerwood Rise. He rubbed his palms together, cupped his hands to his mouth and blew into them to try and keep them warm.
“You could do with some gloves,” came a voice from behind him. He recognised the girl sitting on a fallen tree trunk. It was Rock Chick. He had seen her in the park a few times. She looked a couple of years older than Charlie. She had a cute face, with a little button nose and big eyes. She had straight blue hair down to her shoulders, but it had been pink the last time he saw her. She wore a worn out light brown leather jacket over a black dress with black skinny jeans, faded red boots, fingerless black gloves and a dark grey beanie hat. Across her shoulders and over her back loosely hung a black backpack.
“I… erm… I’ve got some,” Charlie said with great uncertainty. He was not used to cute girls talking to him and he wasn’t quite sure how he should reply.
“Then, you could put them on. Stop you’re hands being so cold,” she said.
“I don’t have any. Well, no, I do have some, I can’t find them. Well, er, I can find them, I know where they are, but they’re in my house and I locked myself out.” Charlie was not acting as cool as he had hoped to. Why did he tell her he had locked himself out? He needed to come across as less of a fumbling fool and more of a cool kid himself. You know, like the cool kids that don’t appear to be interested in much and take life as it comes instead of thinking about every little thing all the time.
“Ah, bit silly,” Rock Chick tutted at him. He knew this already. He was failing at coming across as cool. Instead he worried he just looked cold, and silly.
“Here, have mine. You look colder than me,” she said as she took off her gloves and held them out for Charlie to take.
“I can’t take yours.”
“Because.” Charlie felt his nerves really kicking in. The more he worried about coming across as stupid, the more stupid his replies seemed.
“‘Because’ isn’t really a proper answer,” Rock Chick stated with a tilt of her head and a sympathetic smile. “Give me three good reason why you can’t take them.” She waited patiently for a response.
“Well, because they are not mine, they are yours and… they don’t belong to me,” he reasoned as he turned his head to avoid any awkward eye contact. Rock Chick chuckled quietly to herself.
“That’s sort of the same reason just said in three different ways. But if it makes you feel better…” She stood up and held a dramatic pose as though she was speaking to a large crowd from behind a lectern. “I, as the one and true rightful owner of these gloves in my hand, now transfer ownership to…,” Rock Chick stopped and raised her eyes as though she was trying to recall something. “What’s your name?”
Rock Chick paused and a small smile rose on one side of her face as though Charlie had said something much more symbolic than stating his name.
“Of course it is,” Rock Chick finally stated. “OK,” she said as she continued her dramatic performance, “I transfer ownership to Erm Charlie, to be the Glovekeeper and Protector of the Gloves from this day and all days to come.”
Charlie could not help but smile. He gave a quick glance over to her and made eye contact before turning his eyes back to the ground. She was being silly, but in a cool kid way. He decided it best to just take the gloves already.
“See, I made you smile. Small acts of kindness for the sake of kindness. They make me feel happy, and useful,” Rock Chick said. She hopped over a muddy puddle and stepped over to Charlie who finally took the gloves from her as she sat on his bench next to him. He could smell her perfume. It was sweet and floral. He liked it. He liked her, which is why he was acting like a fool.
“Thank you,” he managed to say clearly and for the first time since she had spoken to him he felt like he almost came across as a normal person. Several awkward moments of silence passed. Charlie kept his head purposefully tilted down with his eyes looking at anything except her, fidgeting with the gloves.
“This is the point at which you put the gloves on, then the Long Glove Wearing Ice Breaker will finally be over and this exchange can stop being awkward,” said Rock Chick with a mocking but somehow kind tone.
Charlie giggled, nodded submissively and started to put the gloves on quickly. He worried about Rock Chick seeing his finger nails. He had always bitten them and was conscious of how gross they looked and he didn’t want her to be repelled in disgust. So he quickly closed his fingers into his palm so she could not see them, tucking in his thumbs.
“I’ve seen you around here before, haven’t I?” asked Rock Chick.
Charlie took a deep breath, swallowed a little too loudly and answered, “Yeah, I like to come here and people watch. I think you do the same. I’ve seen you sit in the picnic area with a notebook.”
“That’s my sketchbook,” she corrected him. “I come here to practice drawing people. I guess we both people watch, I just do it in more detail.”
Charlie wasn’t sure he agreed with her but didn’t say anything. He finally raised his head and glanced over to Rock Chick. She was looking around at the people in the park.
“I like to give people nicknames and come up with back stories for them,” Charlie confessed and then instantly worried he sounded like a stalker. “I’m not a creep though,” he quickly defended himself.
Rock Chick laughed, and nodded as though she was agreeing with him. He hoped she was agreeing that he wasn’t a creep.
“So, what is my nickname?” she asked.
Charlie’s eyes opened widely and a look of panic came across his face. Should he tell her? Will he definitely start to sound like a creep if he does? She would probably understand. Or maybe she won’t. Oh no, what to do? It was at this point that Charlie realised several seconds had passed without an answer and he definitely needed to say something quickly. Like, anything. Right now. Speak Charlie, speak.
“Rock Chick,” he blurted out with instant regret. He laughed nervously desperately hoping she would also laugh, which she did.
“Haha, I do like rock music, and I guess I do dress like a typical rock chick. I’m not as cool though.”
If she wasn’t cool Charlie didn’t know what was. She was so much cooler than he could ever wish to be. He would never wear black jeans and a leather jacket. He had never dyed his hair pink or blue. He had never given someone his gloves and done small acts of kindness for the sake of kindness. And most importantly he would never instigate a conversation with someone he didn’t know.
“I see you with a book most of the time, where is it today?” Rock Chick asked.
Charlie started to wonder how many times she had seen him in the park, how many times she had taken notice of him and if her sketchbook had sketches of him in it. This made him feel uncomfortable so he decided it best to not think about it.
“It’s in the house. I locked myself out,” Charlie finally answered.
“Yeah, we established the great locking out of the house incident earlier on, before the glove handover ceremony,” Rock Chick quipped.
She was so witty and clever. These jokes seemed to come so easily to her. These are the sort of comments Charlie would think about hours after a conversation with someone and wished he had said them at the time. But Rock Chick was actually saying them, with great confidence. He laughed politely.
“Anyway, I need to go,” Rock Chick started to stand up. “It’s been nice talking to you Erm Charlie. And now when we see each other around we can talk and hang out to pass the time instead of silently stalking everyone.”
“Yeah, that would be nice,” Charlie smiled.
“I’m sure it would. And next time it won’t be awkward and you will be comfortable enough to look me in the eye for more than a second,” Rock Chick stated as though it was fact and that Charlie had no choice in the matter.
“Maybe,” he said still with a smile on his face as he lowered his head again in submission. “Oh, what’s your name?”
“I quite like Rock Chick, that’ll do for now,” and she walked away down the gravel path and out of the park without looking back.
Charlie was a little offended that Rock Chick didn’t tell him her name. She knew his and it felt like this gave her power between the two of them. Well, she mocked him as Erm Charlie, but he secretly found that quite sweet. He sat for a few minutes thinking about Rock Chick, all the things he could have said to sound cool and interesting and questioned why she had spoken to him in the first place. There was no doubt he thought she was beautiful and he could feel an attraction to her but did she feel the same? Is that why she spoke to him? Or was he just over thinking it? And what did she mean when she said ‘Of course it is,’ and ‘I’m sure it would’? Charlie did this a lot after a social interaction with someone. He would think about every comment or remark, their body language, what he had done and what it all meant. He had a love/hate relationship with his own thoughts. Was he now over thinking his over thinking?
And I think that’s a good place to end for this part. Join me in part 3 for some quick fire questions and answers. I hope you have enjoyed meeting these characters and getting a small taste of my writing style.
Anyway, I’m off to do a small act of kindness for the sake of kindness. Until next time, Peace and Love!