So for the past week or so I’ve been feeling the need to put pen to paper (literally) and do some freewriting. I don’t do it often and so when the mood strikes, it’s strange. So between thesis and cleaning, I’ve been freewriting. I’m up to fourteen handwritten pages (almost fourteen pages, there’s only a few lines left on page 14 to write). Freewriting is a strange thing…you never know what’s going to happen.
So I started with a first person point of view and rambled. My narrator told me pretty quickly that her name was Julia (Julia Rhiannon, no less) and that she’d been living in this creepy little midwestern town for a few months because she’d been taking care of a sick (now deceased) relative that she’d been visiting there since she was eight. Most of the town, especially the good Reverend at the local evangelical chapel, give her the heebie-jeebies.
Then there was this boy–maybe about her age, maybe a little younger, a mysterious, broken thing that on the surface looked crazy, “special,” or drugged. He kept popping up, kept looking for her. She found out his name was Darien fairly early on. He came to her in moments of almost-lucidity and asked for her help.
Now…I knew by this point (heck, I knew by a few lines into the first page) that this story is in the same universe as my first Nanowrimo project ever, When All’s Said and Done, which has been on my mind in between thinking about Edward I and III because it’s about time I finally gutted the thing, revised it, polished it, and started sending it to publishers. It’s a strangely disturbing piece, probably because there’s elements of it that are just maybe a little too real to not be creepy. The freewriting ramble I’ve been working on was very clearly very intimately connected to the story of the Insitute, given Darien’s whisperings about the end and the Institute and how he’s very clearly reluctant to tell Julia the whole truth for fear she’ll either think he’s crazy or get herself into trouble with the sprawling installation just outside of the village of Andover Commonwealth.
I’m writing page 13 and 14 today, where Darien is giving up some of the secrets he knows about the place…and it hits me. Bam. Right between the eyes.
Darien isn’t Darien at all.
Darien is Ridley.
Now that revelation isn’t going to mean anything to anyone except for me and maybe one or two other people who may happen to stumble across this. And if Miss Jen reads it, she’s going to blink and ask me who Ridley is and I’ll tell her. And her eyes will get big and wide and she’ll be all “Ooh.”
And then she’ll ask if she can read the ramble. And I’ll let her, because she’s Reece, and maybe someday Reece’ll actually meet up with this broken soul who feels like he’s betrayed people he cared about, people who cared about him in return.
All depends on what the redrafting process brings. Either way, this ramble…fantastic background and yet another layer added into what was originally a lot less complex than it’s going to become.