Friday, March 20, 2015

Writing a Legend

I've been faithfully working on my manuscript every day though unfortunately, due to the business of an average day, I'm only getting about 1,000 words written.  If I stick to a thousand words a day, I should be done with the first draft some time the end of April, beginning of June.

I took a break today though to write about one of my biggest problems.

If you've read any of my previous blog posts, you'll know my current WIP is a retelling of the Arthurian legend.  I'm not a historian or even a super fan, I just find the original legends interesting.  Several of the characters in Camelot come from the legends, with me throwing little tidbits of their original characters into the mix of my new creation.  It's worked out really well so far with one exception.  Arthur.

In lots of the retellings, I hate Arthur.  He's a creep of the major kind and not the saintly king he's made out to be in the original legends.  I didn't even want to read most of it.  Needless to say, with a teeny tiny bit of help from the original legend, I wanted to write Arthur my own way.  The thing is, the fear of drawing a historical hero is more daunting then I would've imagined.

I've written scenes with the other knights like Kay and Gawain.  I've even written scenes with Merlin.  It's a bit weird at times but when I get to Arthur, I freeze up.  I scrutinize every word he says, every action he does, every expression he gives.  I'm not making him my character, I'm trying to rewrite what someone else already did.

I've considered a few fixes.  Maybe giving him a different name until I'm done writing at which time I'll use the find and replace and replace "Bob" with "Arthur".  I know, it sounds silly, but I have to find the right names for my characters or I can't even write them.  Of course, Bob isn't very inspiring.  Don't think I could write a main character with that name.  Sorry to all the Bobs out there!

The most logical next step seems to be doing a really indepth character sheet on Arthur.  I may be including things from the original Arthur but this isn't the original Arthur.  This is my Arthur and I can do what I want with him.

I'll post on my progress in the next few weeks.  I've spent all morning trying to identify my problem and now I have to go do something about it!

-Anna Leigh

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