If you’ve been following me in any of the circles I tend to move in, you might know I’m writing a novel about a blind swordswoman, and possibly that I’m struggling with it.
It’s set in the same world as my epic fantasy, but in an earlier time and in a different kingdom.
The plot is simple: it’s about her mastering a sword of power and defeating the ruling Warlord. Think Gladiator meets almost any Chinese martial arts movie in an historical setting, and you’ve probably got it.
Her story, however, is entirely different, and this is what I’m struggling with.
Any reluctant hero could fulfil the plot, but to give it emotional impact, the plot has to become just as personal as the things she cares about. They need to intersect.
What she cares about is her father, the local villagers, and the slave girl her father rescued a few years back.
She also has a bit of a chip on her shoulder. She’s blind, but determined not to let it hold her back.
She’s fought for years to become self-sufficient, to develop her skills with the blade, and to be able to look after herself without help. What she fears most is having that freedom taken away.
Her story, then, has to about protecting the people she cares about while fighting for freedom.
Therefore, to create a novel, the plot and everything she cares about need to come into conflict.
The question is, what’s the best way to do this? I’ve got a bunch of ideas on where I want it to go, but the beginning is really stumping me.
How do I set it up so all this comes through, without looking like I’m trying to set up anything?
If you’ve got any thoughts on matter, I’d be more than keen to hear them.
Otherwise, you’ll find some more interesting posts on story development in The Craft.