Time to get (almost) serious

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Working title – not entirely serious!

Okay, I’ve dug up an old nano novel.  I’ve rejected it as being vaguely interesting but far too badly plotted (plot? what plot? it had a plot?) and probably also too many characters. I’ve decided I still like the characters and like the idea.  Where do I go from here?

So far I’ve had the conceited opinion that I shouldn’t put my writing on my blog in any volume because it could lead to copyright problems if I ever got as far as publishing.  Which, let’s face it, is ridiculous.  The chances of my ever getting anything to the point of publishing are slim to none, and if I did – well, there are examples of books that were originally published online anyway.

So as I potter around with my ideas I’m going to share them on here.  You, gentle reader, will have the chance to see how my story evolves, and to make your own suggestions and comments should you wish to do so (consider it a collaborative project, maybe; which I guess means I couldn’t publish it and make money out of it as it wouldn’t be all my own work (as if it would ever get that far anyway!), but there’ll still be the fun of writing it, and maybe other projects will get completed offline).

Okay then, time to think of the plot.  Originally I had a guy (we assume he was an alien; it was never made clear) who took on a bunch of babies (10 of them to start; I later halved the number as it was tricky to keep track of all of them).  He altered these babies somehow, to give them special powers.  His plan was thwarted by another member of his group, and he was made to return the babies.  They were all put into care and then adopted or fostered, and grew up independent of each other until they met together at age 11 and their powers were triggered.

There were various short chapters illustrating the life of some of the kids growing up:

Chapter – Felicity

“So do you think Oxford or Cambridge would be better?”  Felicity’s mother leaned forward earnestly to elicit the information from her child’s teacher.

The teacher looked extremely uncomfortable.  “Mrs Collins, I’m sorry, but it really is far too early to tell.”

Mrs Collins sat back, looking disappointed.  “But you must have a good idea of how clever she is, how intelligent, how sensitive…”

“ I’m aware that Felicity is a very sensitive child.”  The teacher thought of the tantrum Felicity had thrown the previous morning when another child had tried to use some of the bricks she had been amassing to build her princess castle, and wondered whether to make some mention of the child’s emotional development, but considered the woman in front of her and thought better of it.  “But Mrs Collins, Felicity is only three.  It really is far too soon to be thinking of what university to send her to.  We need to allow her to develop in her own time.”

“But it’s so difficult for her with all these other – children around.”  Felicity’s mother shuddered at the thought of all these common children Felicity was forced to mingle with.  She would far rather keep the child on her own at home, but her husband had insisted that a good nursery school would do wonders for her development, and help her start forming the contacts she would need to help her in the future.  Besides, the teachers here were all of the highest standard.  Even though this particular one seemed to be rather dense, not so eager to offer Felicity all the extra tuition she deserved.  Mrs Collins decided then and there that she would have a word with the head of the school.  Felicity deserved the best, and that was what she was going to get.  And I thoroughly agreed with her.  It was vitally important that all my children received the very best education, so that once their gifts became fully active they would be ready to take their place as leaders in their society, and conduct their world safely out of its crisis.


The “I” in the last paragraph is the being who originally changed the kids – he’s keeping an eye on things and providing his own running commentary on them.

So my first issue is how many characters, and what are their special powers?  The second is how do I put a plot around them?  Originally there was very little plot, just setting the kids up, watching them grow, having them all meet together and start discovering their powers, then they got kidnapped and taken to a boarding school in Wales, from where they escaped, split up again and ended up together years later at Canterbury University, at which point some other aliens who wanted to take over the world landed on top of Canterbury Cathedral.  And that took me to 50,138 words and I stopped (I think I was getting a little desperate at that point!).

My other issue is names; I cheated in my novel, and gave them code names rather than proper names – if they were based on an aspect of a character I knew, that was the name I gave them, but I really need to break out of that and come up with proper names (not least so I don’t completely embarrass myself by revealing some of my inner thoughts!).

I think I’ll stick to five characters for now, but this time I need to have a proper plot before I start writing the actual story, and the powers need to have a particular purpose in the plot, not just be something cool – for example I remember a movie when the ability to turn into a small animal seemed totally pointless until that was just the one skill that could save everyone.  My favourite type of story is where everything suddenly slots into place and everything makes sense, so that’s what I’m aiming for here.

As for superpowers, I originally had the ability to sense feelings and emotions, the ability to affect feelings and emotions (would make sense to combine those two into one), the ability to speed up or slow down time (I want that one!), the ability to affect electrical/electronic/mechanical equipment, the ability to look completely different, superhuman strength, the ability to heal, the ability to recover from injuries very quickly (again, those two could be combined), and of course telepathy and telekinesis as standard for all.  The only one I’m not happy with in that list is the ability to change appearance, which is rather weak.

As for characters, I had one who would very rarely speak, one who was shy and bullied, one who was very confident, Felicity who was rather a snob (blame her mother!), one who was a carer for his mother, one who provoked rows everywhere he went (he was the one who could influence/project emotions), one who was abused as a child – oh, all the sorts of things you could possibly throw in the ring!

I need now to settle on the child characters, their abilities, their names and their background, and decide on just how they are going to fulfil their destiny.  In my original story their mentor was constantly telling them they had to fulfil their destiny and save the world, and they just laughed at him, pointing out they were kids. That’s where the alien invasion came in at the end, to try to force them into some sort of action.

In the meantime, I accidentally opened another start of a story from my writing folder and was blown away by it.  Guess I’d better get going, and see how far I can get with this over the summer.  If nothing else, I should get some enjoyment out of it all, and after all, isn’t that a good reason for writing? 🙂


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1 Comment

  1. Oooooerrrrrr…..this is WAY out of my comfort zone lol 😉

    Aliens, special powers, lol, I’m probably not the best person to comment lol.

    Just be careful how many characters you have. People have said to me about my idea with the 26 characters that it will be too much 😦

    Good luck, look forward to hearing all about your progress 🙂



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