I thought it would be fun to discuss my current work in progress and share some of the problems and successes I’m having with it. If you are wondering about the project I hinted about before (the one with the mermaids), don’t worry. I’ll be working on that one next. It had to be delayed for this current project because I couldn’t get this one out of my mind. I know, I know. Not the best way to determine what to write and when, but it was one of those stories that just wouldn’t leave me alone. I noticed I write much faster with stories like that.
My current work in progress has a working title of Sands of Fate. In the end, it will have a different title, but I’m the type who needs a title before I can start a project. “Untitled YA Paranormal Romance” just doesn’t cut it for me. That was actually the first place I struggled. Finding the right title is a big deal for me, but a placeholder title works okay for now. (Did you know that Land of No Angels started out as a working title and just happened to become the final version?)
This particular story has a strong theme of breaking free from an oppressive mold to do what is right. It also has a lot to do with death and coming to terms with it. Challenging our role in life and a lot of other things. Sands of Fate is still a paranormal romance, which is a huge change (and challenge) for me, and has a main character from late nineteenth century France who is now living in modern time. This has caused me a lot of headache. This character has watched people from all over the world since her death in 1906. So, she knows about a lot of modern things. How do I balance her original life between her modern one?
Honestly, I’m not sure. It’s tough for me to properly give her a voice. It can’t be a modern one, but how historical should it be? Balancing between a teenager who is out of place, but influenced by, the modern world is the key. I don’t know that I can really use things like having her require a chaperone when being alone around guys. Because of this character’s job, she has been alone around guys plenty of times. Her customs have been diluted by her job, so it wouldn’t make sense to have her insist on them.
One thing I have done is to have her interact with technology. Of course, that’s easy. It’s also fun to write about! On the other hand, there are questions that will come up: how can she understand English (Answer: her job)? If she doesn’t have parents, will people notice (yes, and it gets awkward!)? Will she have to go to school during her time on earth (no…that would be a different story)? If you can’t tell, this story can get a bit complicated.
The last thing that I’ve had to think about is the character’s name. The idea for this story originated from an ink drawing I did a long time ago. It was of a girl-like creature who carried around an hourglass on a chain. The hourglass represented someone’s life. When I originally drew the picture, I named her Maeva. This is one of the reasons she became a French girl… But I quickly realized that this name wasn’t exactly used during the time in which she was born (1890). So, I went on a hunt for popular names of the time. The two I ended up with are Odette and Adélaïde. And now I can’t decide between the two. What do you all think?