I feel like I should begin with an apology for not posting sooner. But, see, I’ve been writing two novels, and I’m trying to relearn Latin, and I just really haven’t had anything to say that I didn’t say in my last post. So. Consider me thoroughly ashamed and desperately sorry.
A few updates before I really start ranting:
- The every-other-day writing arrangement wasn’t working, because I simply couldn’t get into either book enough to make quality progress. Therefore, I’ve switched to a fairly relaxed regimen in which I try to switch books every week, but don’t always. This seems to be working rather well.
- I have recently begun to indulge two of my obsessions: Latin (which isn’t very relevant) and Irish Gaelic (which I promise will be at least slightly relevant in a moment). Yes, I have a thing for languages with little practical use.
- One of the factors that reignited my passion for Irish and made learning it into a tangible goal is a YouTube user by the name of TG Lurgan (I swear to God this will be relevant in a moment. Pinky promise.), which is the account for an Irish-language summer school, Coláiste Lurgan, which covers pop songs in Irish. They are awesome and I love them forever.
So. Novel #2 is the pursuit of my endeavors this week, and it’s coming along so well I just want to dance. I’ve added 730 words in just two chapters (which is better than it sounds, with my track record), and I’ve added a fair amount more worldbuilding than was present before. I feel like this is really making my story come alive in a way it couldn’t before. I’ve also noticed that my writing style is significantly darker this time around, but I suppose that’s an expected difference between the writing of a middle schooler and that of a high school graduate (yes, I’ve been working on it that long).
One particular aspect that’s been subject to a lot of revamping is the South Side of Betelmere (my protagonist’s city). The South Side functions as the slums of the city, and it’s also where my protagonist spends a lot of time. It used to be a rather flourishing part of the city, but by now it has been mostly abandoned, left to decay and the rule of the thieves and the beggars. It is further south than the poor part of town that also houses the black market, and mainly serves as housing for Betelmere’s poorest and most wanted.
As a result, mainly, of the decay (but also just sheer idiocy in planning), the South Side is something of a maze that very few can navigate, although my protagonist is quite accomplished at doing so.
I’ve always been able to picture the South Side perfectly, but only recently have I been able to really describe it and give the reader anything resembling a sense of it. In addition, I’ve recently found that, instead of my protagonist regarding the place rather reluctantly as a morbid sort of haven, I’ve come to the understanding that it functioned (and continues to function) as the only thing resembling a home she has ever had, she is actually quite comfortable within its walls—happy, even, if cautiously so. I’m really pleased with the contrast that this creates between her emotions and the setting/description. Hey, look at that. AP Lit did come in handy. Who’d have guessed it?
In addition, I’ve expanded it a bit more to reflect the social hierarchy that is present in the South Side. Though filled, undoubtedly, with criminals and beggars, there is a clear distinction between the desperate and the insane. As such, the southernmost part of the South Side has been deemed “the Ruins,” and it is this most dangerous and terrifying part that houses the hags and “leering nightmares” shunned even by the other residents of the South Side.
So. This brings me to what I earlier swore would be relevant: Irish Gaelic and TG Lurgan.
When I was much younger (not really in years, more in maturity), I went through a mildly terrible phase, largely created by character questionnaires, in which I attempted to find a theme song for every character in every book I’d ever written (which, at the time, was a grand total of 1 1/2), and even occasionally for my friends or, indeed, myself. I’ve since gotten past that phase and, because life is ironic, have been much more successful in finding theme songs since.
I recently (as in, in the last 2 or 3 days) developed a not-so-minor obsession with a song posted by TG Lurgan. It’s a cover of Sia’s song, “Chandelier,” which I’ve never been overly fond of, but holycowIlovethiscover. And I’ve been listening to it on repeat for two days straight. Yes, it’s probably safe to say this obsession is slightly unhealthy.
(Please be aware that the video, while totally appropriate, is slightly disturbing, even if it does feature some really cool Irish dance.)
So, having written two chapters while listening to this song, I have decided that this song captures pretty much everything that the South Side is. Not necessarily the lyrics (because aside from “hAon, do, tri,” I really couldn’t begin to say what they mean), but the sound of it. It’s so dark and mysterious, and so passionate, and…Yeah.
So. That’s where my brain is. Anyone else writing/obsessing over a cool story?