I know, I know, I’ve not kept up with the status reports daily. Bad Wolf!
Aside from falling behind with my word count, new scenes and ideas have emerged that are forcing me to rejig the plot a lot. I told myself I’d keep tip-tapping away at the keyboard without looking back at my inconsistencies, which seems to be working so far. I have managed to ignore that voice saying ‘go back and rewrite it NOW’ for a while – I have no idea how much longer I can fight it for.
Anyway, I realised that my characters are a bit all over the place. I’ve got them in two different time periods – classical and modern – and the modern plot is crawling along in comparison to the classical one. Also, I have no idea how the modern plot is going to end! The reason for this, I think, lies in the fact that the classical plot is basically Medea’s story – could be a waste of space at the moment (probably too much backstory but I won’t worry about that right now) – so I know more or less where I’m going with it, even though I’ve made up a lot of things about her (it’s fiction and myth, after all!).
Without spoiling it too much, I can safely say that she’s not turned out as evil as the dominant mythology has portrayed her. I’m not entirely sure why, though. After reading stuff around her for months, she hasn’t yet become the embodiment of Evil in my writing (of course, this might change in future drafts). More a tragic/misunderstood figure…
This doubt I have about Medea’s character has led me to one big question: does she kill her children or not? The rational side of me is saying that I’m the writer, so I have control over the story. Another part of me is saying that the jury is still out on this one. Because not knowing such a ‘vital’ element of her has been bothering me quite a bit, I spent this morning trying to tackle the murder scene.
So, of course, I looked up ‘painless ways to kill someone’ (I know, writer’s browsing history…). I figured that if she did kill them, then surely she’d try and do it quickly/painlessly, since though being a child-murderer, she was still a mother – their mother (writer logic!). I found a forum that provided lots of ideas and ways to kill someone (the original question posted involved a character being killed mercifully during a battle) but none of the ways they offered seemed to appeal to me (or well.. to Medea). However, what did help greatly came from something the writer-poster had said: they planned to write out different versions of the scene and see which fit best. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me sooner! I’ve already been doing it sort of without realising it – my current draft has piles of scenes that conflict with other scenes because I changed my mind about a character or a plot point a few pages later. But that’s what first drafts are for, right?
Meanwhile, I’m hoping that Medea herself will do her bit as well and nudge me in the ‘right’ direction. (fingers crossed!)
As for the modern side, I have no idea where I’m going with it yet. It’s taken on a life of its own and is moving at snail speed. It’s become a weird cross between a mystery story, the Godfather, conspiracy theory and an epic journey (like Lord of the Rings). Trust me, even I don’t know how that happened. I think I know how it’s supposed to end but I don’t know how to get there yet. I suppose I shall have to keep writing and see!
May the Muses and the Goddess help us all!
(Disclaimer: I’m not religious/spiritual in any way, but hey, I’m not about to turn down help if they offer it!)