Yo nerds! Welcome to Stark Writes #4. I saw the Life Choices Write Tag over on Mel’s blog, Bookish Wanderer and really liked it. The tag was created by Kat over at Life and Other Disasters. You should check out both Kat’s and Mel’s answers to this tag as they are both excellent and intriguing.
So today we are solely focusing on my WIP, Deduction. You got a small taste of Deduction in my previous Stark Writes posts. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on some smaller plot details that had been bothering me. I’ve managed to fix all of those issues and it meant I could put together the larger story. I have done so much research on living off grid, it’s ridiculous. I could deffo survive living in the woods now! Anyway,
Hey ho, let’s go!
WHAT ARE THE RULES?! Chill ya bones.
Thank the person who tagged you but also link back to the original post! (I want to see all your lovely answers, people!)
Provide a short description of your WIP/story!
After Ellie’s best friend moves away, she finds herself bored with life and alone. Completing an A level she has lost interest in, she is looking for something new. At the start of her second year at sixth form college, she makes a new friend, Jess who tells Ellie of how some have managed to make a new life for themselves. A new life away from their harmful families. A life without debt, dead end jobs, or working to make someone else rich. A life in Annwn; a 3000 acre communal farm, far enough away from the pressures of modern life. Living with a community of like-minded people working towards the same goal. A life of peace, and harmony, where all are welcome and respected.
Moving to Annwn doesn’t come without risks. Ellie is still a minor, and moving away will involve becoming a missing person. But she believes it is worth it, she has nothing to stay at home for. Jess, and her older boyfriend, Scott, help Ellie start her new life.
Annwn is owned by a shy, reclusive man, Isaac. Isaac is a man of extreme wealth, but instead of investing his money into the capitalist machine, he is trying to create a communalist society with the aim to bring people back to our naturalist routes. To allow people the opportunity to live a lifestyle that reduces depression and stress.
But when some members of the community hear news that outsiders are interested in investigating Annwn for the laws they break, they will do whatever is necessary to protect the community.
This is pretty focused on main characters but don’t hesitate to use several characters for the answers if you want to! (We want to get to know as many of your characters as possible)
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Where does your main character live? Were they born there or did they move to that place?
Initially, Ellie, our MC, is living with her mother and step-dad in a suburban, middle class, village in Devon, England. Within the first couple of chapters, she moves to Annwn. She isn’t sure where Annwn is exactly, but it’s cold and often raining. The longest member of the community, Kathleen (known as Aunty Kath to the community), has lived in the same farmhouse for the last 40+ years. Her home was there before the community grew up around the area. She speaks with a strong Scottish accent.
Annwn is a 3000 acre community farm with approximately 65 members of varying ages. It has one road in, and one road out. It contains a number of crop fields, allotment style areas, fruit trees, a beach, a lake, and communal living areas. There are 4 homes that have gas, electric and plumbing, and the rest of the community live off grid in tents, caravans, yutes, sheds, converted shipping containers etc. All members of the community are expected to work together for the greater good of the community. This involves working to create food, water and goods that are owned by the community, for the community. One member of the community is the village trader, and takes any excess produce/crafted items and trades for things the community cannot create themselves. Isaac supports the community financially when necessary. The community are working towards becoming completely self-sufficient and off grid.
Does your MC have a dream career? What (if anything) stops them from pursuing it?
Ellie doesn’t know what she wants to do. She was in college completing an A level in art, but only because she didn’t know what else to do. The idea of working a day job to have barely enough money to get by doesn’t appeal to her. Hence why she moves to Annwn. The community environment and ethos encourages people to discard that capitalist mentality.
Did any of your characters ever go against their parents/family’s wishes? How did that change their relationship?
Ellie is doing that right from the start! She breaks away, having no contact at all. Ellie’s father died when she was 12, and she has never really got over that loss. She is angry with her mum for remarrying and she has never accepted her step-dad into her life. She sees an opportunity with Annwn to choose her own family.
If faced with their greatest fear – would your MC try to overcome it or run the other way?
Naturally, Ellie is a flight kind of person. But she is also susceptible to being influenced by stronger characters. I think she holds the potential to overcome her fears if she had enough support around her. She has some self-esteem issues and hasn’t really been encouraged to be comfortable with herself. Living in Annwn, a microsociety where everyone feels they are making a difference and are needed, helps with this.
Did any character have to cut a person out of their life? Why?
Ellie cut out her parents, for all the reasons listed above. 🙂 At the start of the novel, Ellie is writing letters to her friend, Emma. But shortly after moving to Annwn, she is encouraged to stop, and to leave things in the past.
There is a character, whose name I don’t know yet, who does some things that are not in the spirit of working for the greater good. They are asked to leave the community, by the other members. Ellie struggles with that loss.
Unsurprisingly, the community has attracted people that are trying to get away from their past. This means many of them have cut out people from their lives.
What is your main character’s biggest regret?
That’s a good question. Ellie hasn’t really had enough life experience yet to have many regrets. She has a minor regret about her father, but that detail will remain secret until the book is written.
Which character is most likely going to help a stranger, even if they got nothing out of it in return?
Isaac, for sure. That’s exactly what he is doing with Annwn. Ellie would help anyone out if she could. Many members of the community would, thinking about it. It’s that kind of environment. Kind people doing acts of kindness for the greater good.
If your character got good/bad news, who would be the person they first tell?
Initially Ellie would write a letter to Emma. Once in Annwn, she would speak to Aunty Kath, without hesitation. Aunty Kath informally leads the community (although the community has no formal leadership), and so people turn to her for moral help. Ellie is also trying to form a closeness with Jess. But once they move to Annwn, Jess remains somewhat distant to Elle.
Isaac is great at offering moral, spiritual and practical advice. So I think people wouldn’t hesitate to confide in him. But he doesn’t come out to the communal areas very often. He’s a very introverted individual.
BONUS: Make an aesthetic for your MCs life if there had been no obstacles (money, geographical, etc.) and they had everything they wanted. (It is up to you if you want to explain it or not!)
I’ve never made an aesthetic before, but it’s something I want to get into doing more of, so here’s my attempt for Annwn.
And that’s the tag. I really enjoyed doing this as I find it helpful to talk about the WIP. Because I wasn’t tagged, I won’t tag anyone. But I also don’t really know any other writers to tag even if I wanted to. I want to connect with more writers, so if you stumbled across this and you’re a writer, say hi! Come follow me on the Twitter dot com. If you like the look of this tag, go ahead and do it yourself. But tag back to me – I want to read your answers!
Anyway, I’m off to research how easy it is to desalinate sea water. Until next time, Peace and Love!