Sunday, May 3, 2015

Memories of What Never Was Prologue and Chapter 1

Soooooooo, I've finished polishing up my first drafts of the Prologue and Chapter 1 of my new complete rewrite of Beyond the Lost Horizon, titled Memories of What Never Was.  You can read these shiny new chapters here if you are so inclined.  And they are both shiny and new.  Neither of these chapters appeared in any form in the previous two incarnations of this story.

The prologue is a recounting of what happened to Kriss on that night seven years ago.  This is not the same prologue as was originally included in the previous two incarnations.  That prologue has been moved to be the prologue of book 2 of the trilogy now.  Because of where I broke the story to make the ending of the first book, this book needs to center around Kriss' character.  The climax is all her being awesome, and it would be pretty unsatisfying if she didn't have a back story, a characters, or develop as a person to the point where she can be that awesome.  So, naturally, we get Kriss' backstory in the prologue, and we're introduced to her again as she is in the present day in chapter one.  The Prologue kind of sets the stakes for the series, showing what the eventual goal is, and why the villains are the villains, where chapter one shows what it has done to Kriss as a person, and how she will need to progress and grow if she is to overcome what has been done to her.

Something that really bothers me in fiction, and I see it from both male and female authors alike, is that when a character is raped, severely abused, or both, it never seems to change them as a person.  They're still the same person afterward as they were before.  They move on with their lives and soon forget that anything even happened.  When in actuality, those sorts of things leave severe psychological, emotional, and physical problems in their wake that can utterly destroy a person's life, relationships, and everything for years, if not decades to come before they are finally able to deal with it, accept it, and move on with their lives.  I thought that it would make for an interesting character and for interesting character development to have a character who was the victim of rape and abuse, but instead of focusing on the acts themselves as many authors do, I would focus purely on the emotional and psychological consequences, while barely even referencing what brought them about.  Sort of a turning of the tables completely on what the norm, in fiction, seems to be, and show the character trying to struggle her way through depression, suicidal tendencies, OCD, PTSD, and RTS.  I mean, what would you think was more entertaining, a rape scene, or a character trying desperately to come to terms with it, struggling to find some sort of meaning or justification in even continuing to live, and finally overcoming and finding a way to cope with and accept what has been done to her?  Personally, I think the latter is far more intriguing, entertaining, and most importantly, realistic.  I've done quite a bit of research on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Rape Trauma Syndrome, so that I can get her character just right for this story.  That's pretty much what I've been doing for the last three months since my schedule at work cleared up.  I didn't want to start writing before I knew exactly how Kriss was going to act and react to things.

Welp, like I said, my schedule at work has gone from 80 hours a week every week, to about 30 hours a week every week, and that, finally, gives me some time to get back to work on this book.  I hope to actually start making some progress on it pretty quickly here. But, in the long run, I think that the time I spent working rather than writing ended up being a good thing for this story, because it was during that time where I came up with some of the best ideas to bring into it.  So I guess there was a silver lining to that storm cloud after all. 

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