Friday, November 4, 2011

Destined for Each Other? Nanowrimo 2011

I'm back, and I bring my Nanowrimo novel with me! Yes, I've decided I'm going to do Nanowrimo again this year, and hopefully keep up my two-year winning streak. I'm a little bit late in posting this, as I've been frantically finishing my coursework this past week, but now that uni's over I can focus more on writing.

So, here it is: my novel and a short excerpt. I had a horrible time writing the synopsis. For some strange reason I had a very clear idea of the way the plot was supposed to go, but the minute I tried to put it down on paper, I couldn't do it. I thought the idea behind me novel was so simple, but apparently I was wrong.

Anyway, this is an idea I got in November or December last year, after reading Lauren Kate's Fallen. I think what originally frustrated me was the love-plot that the novel focused on. In essence, a girl dies and is reborn over and over, and an angel who's in love with her keeps seeking her out to make her magically remember that they're soulmates.

This got me thinking about the whole 'destined for each other' thing. I've always been rather unconvinced by the 'soulmates' idea that seems to be so popular in fiction and film, and lately it's started to really actively annoy me.

It struck me as pretty unfair that you should be born over and over again and yet get no choice as to who you're forced to fall in love with. If all that ties you to one person is the memory of a romance in a past life, is it not rather tyrannical to insist that you have to love them in the next life too?

With that in mind I decided to re-write this plot in a way that reflected just that. The tyrannous system of so-called 'true love'.

Eliot Cage has always loved Andie Walsh.
It began with a simple curse in a little marsh-village, more than one thousand years ago. It began with a boy, and a girl, who did a very foolish thing. They fell in love.
Across the centuries, Eliot and Andie have endured the cycle of life and death, cursed to find each other again and again, yet fated never to survive their first deadly meeting.
For centuries, Eliot has lived with the truth of his destiny. Until now, his conviction has been all that he needed to find his soulmate. But this lifetime is about to prove more challenging than any he's yet faced.
Twenty-first century Andie Walsh doesn't believe in love, or soulmates, or destiny, or fate. And when Eliot finds her this time around, convincing her that they have been linked across time and life is going to be harder than Eliot could ever have imagined. Even as Andie tests the limits of Eliot's belief in the tyrannous system of love, the two of them will be forced to fight for their lives, running from the shadow of a man who has stalked them across the centuries. Fate holds Andie and Eliot tight in its grasp - will they have the strength to break free?

And here's a short excerpt:

In a hospital bed in 1989 a woman dies.
She is alone, apart from the ticking of the clock.
Only the man who has loved for over seventy years holds her wrinkled hand as the breath of life leaves her, and wishes that he could take back the stolen years already behind him.
In 1893 a black-haired beauty follows her husband through the humid jungle, sweat collecting beneath the thick bones of her hidden corset and underneath her white lace gloves.
In London a girl dances an elaborate waltz, and in 1824 a child of the Alhambra chases a chicken across the dusty yard for a visitor’s supper. Five hundred years earlier a German peasant-woman allows a stranger to carry a bucket of milk into the house for her.
And in 1989 that same ancient, finished old man enters the richly paneled study of an equally ancient, old, and finished man, and gives him his enemy hand.
I know you want this to be a story of love. And in a sense, it is. And while all these things happen in that distant past, and are reduced to words on a parish register, or a painting on a wall, or a last, lonely photograph, what you have to understand is that while these things have happened in the past, they have also not happened yet, and are still happening right now.

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