I’ve made a few major decisions this week, as I feel awoken from some self-induced trance. I’ve abandoned the alcohol binges that characterised the majority of my adult weekends. This – it would seem – has been the catalyst of those changes. My Sunday’s have been transformed from an alcohol-coated vegetation into a renewal of life. I’ve started learning Spanish – the official language of the country I’ve called home for the past eighteen months. In doing so, I’ve been attempting to eradicate a lifetime of failed attempts towards competently communicating in a foreign tongue. However, the greatest change is related to my novel.
Bleached Footprints – a title it adopted a mere twelve months ago – began its life six years ago. It was intended as a collaborative project with a long-forgotten love. It, however, has remained in my thoughts. Permeating deeper and deeper into my soul. I can’t – it would seem – move on from the project and start afresh. It needs to be written and I need to write it.
It’s a project that has always been close to my heart – more for it’s protagonist then it’s plot. It details the story of Sammy; my first fully developed independent character. It was the first time – and one of the few times – I created a character that wasn’t an extension of parts of myself. I do share some of my dark recesses with him but he is not I. He doesn’t think like I do. This is what makes him special and worthy of my interest.
The essence of the story is as follows: Sammy is released against his wishes from a mental institution, he must choose between the only life he’s known and vices of an alluring new world.
Though I’ve written it’s first thirty pages, I haven’t gotten much more of an understanding of his future and journey then this.
This week I’ve taken an unprecedented move and covered one of the walls of our studio apartment with mapping his journey and the essence of who Sammy is. I know this is commonly any author’s first step in creating their story. However, for me, a frenzy of writing coupled with a sense of mystery as to where the character will take me, has often typified my process.
Therefore, I’m very eager to see where this journey will take me if I begin by first drawing the map for Sammy’s – and by extension – my journey into the unknown. Vogler’s signposts are etched on the wall.
All that remains now is for me to add Sammy’s flesh to those bones.