Clarion West Write-a-Thon: Week Five Update

Top Secret Code Name of Current Project: Who Murdered Superman? (It Was Aquaman, Wasn’t It, I FUCKING KNEW IT.)
Current Pitch: Six Wakes meets Justice League Unlimited

Beginning the Novel With a Character Waking Up: Check
A Character Describing Themselves While Looking in a Mirror: Check
A Dream Sequence That Provides a CLUE: Close enough

Song From Current Project Playlist: “Ghost” – The Acid

Goal Met: Holy shit, YES!

This novel already has so many no-nos in it. That mirror one, for instance. That’s like Numero Dos in the 10 Commandments of Writing:

Thou shalt not describe one’s protagonist by having her gaze into a mirror so she can awkwardly narrate all her physical features to the reader.

And hey, that’s a commandment for a reason, one I usually try to live by. However, when you’re writing a mystery about five amnesiac characters . . . I mean, that rule just become silly because OBVIOUSLY they’re going to scrutinize the hell out of these strange faces they don’t recognize, these faces that are apparently their own.

Last week, I said Chapter 4 would deal with clues and choices, which is still true. However, a huge chunk of it also deals with identity, especially gender identity; one character, in particular, is really struggling to conceive of who he is without the context of his past. I try not to be too prescriptive about writing rules (because as evidenced above, they’re really understood best as–say it with me in your best pirate voice–guidelines) but if you’re writing an amnesia story (a thriller, a romance, a slice of life, whatever) and you’re not making identity a central theme in your story? I kind of feel like you’re doing it wrong.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m doing it well. But hopefully, I can succeed. I’m really aiming for this novel to be both fast-paced and character oriented. I refuse to believe it has to be one or the other. (Feel free to provide inspiration, though, and tell me your favorite fast-paced, character oriented novels!)

Random Line From Chapter 4:

Shit. Is he picturing who he wants to be, or who he wants to fuck?

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