Novel Update: Ace of Arts

I’m pleased to announce that I did indeed start writing my new novel on November 1. Having 3600 words of a new book done is pretty badass.

Also, I doodled a Megan.

Blurry doodle
That thing on her nose is a nose ring, btw, don’t know if it’s clear

I got a better “look” at her in this first chapter, and though there weren’t any surprises for me about how she came across, I’m not sure how we’ll I’ll handle someone with such a pessimistic world view for an entire novel. I don’t want the book to be about her becoming an optimist or anything–it’s more about learning the circumstances under which it is beneficial to broaden one’s horizons and which it is beneficial to stand one’s ground–but I just hope the complaining and negativity doesn’t get grating for the reader. I guess that’s something I’ll only find out about when test reader time comes.

My first chapter is about Megan going to a gallery showing in which she has a piece. She’s clearly there reluctantly, but is also curious about what people think of her work. I managed to establish a few constants of her life: that she does not expect to ever “actually” make anything of herself or go to college or succeed as an artist; that she has a complicated relationship with her older sister; that her art teacher has been in her life for a fair amount of time and knows details about her living situation; and that there’s something mysterious about how she comes upon the subjects of her drawings.

I also established a few tone and setting details through background details. At one point her teacher pulls out a phone, which suggests it’s in modern times or thereabouts because otherwise she wouldn’t have a mobile phone. (This is kinda significant because the old short story from which I stole the characters was written in 1999, and nobody had cell phones.) And one of the art projects Megan looks at in the gallery is a humorous depiction of the artist’s coming out as gay, which suggests she’s going to school in an area that would allow such a piece to be part of a high school art show. And Megan gets to the gallery on a city bus and has no plans to get home (the buses stop running while she’s still out); her “plan” was just to stay out all night until the buses start up in the morning, which makes it pretty clear nobody’s following up on her safety or making sure she’s taken care of. (She’s also clearly not intimidated by the idea of hanging out in public places during the wee hours, which suggests she does not consider herself particularly vulnerable.)

I think the next chapter will involve some introduction to her artwork method and some interaction with her sister. And by Chapter 3 I definitely need to introduce Brady, who’s really important to the rest of the story–a boy in her homeroom who is instrumental in her figuring out the rest of her life. I’m really looking forward to finding out how it all comes together. 🙂

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