I promised some time ago that I would take you through the writing process as I rewrite the first Morfasson book… So here we are. Right back where it all began some nine years ago. I was thirteen when i began and I hope to finish this one by the time ten years has passed since I began. (I think the actual date i started was the 13th of November, based on what inspired me to write it in the first place.) So… with eighteen months and one hundred thousand words to write, I’d best get cracking.
I have a lot of projects at the moment and this doesn’t take priority. I have a writing schedule and at the moment this book is limited to Fridays. However, as I finish other projects things will pick up speed. (I’ve got a film I’m working on so once that’s done I should have an extra couple of days a week to play with) But no matter… I’ll keep chipping away and one day it will be finished.
I think I’ll begin by returning to the old version and looking at how it can be improved. I’ve tried before and not had much luck. It’s called ‘Under The Führer’s Control,’ (That might change) and clocks in at around seventy five thousand words long. As you’ve guessed, It’s a war story, and the problem is that it’s a bit convoluted. It makes very little sense, has very little to do with the Morfasson and includes a massive island the size of Wales just off the French coast that, mysteriously, nobody has noticed… And an awful lot of doppelgangers. The doppelgangers have to go, as does the massive island the size of Wales. I’ll come back to what I’m going to do about them later. The main plot of the original involves the kidnapping of British citizens and their imprisonment in what was presumed to be a P.O.W camp. The P.O.W idea takes less precedence as the story goes on and it becomes more farcical and makes less sense and then all the characters from the beginning are dead AND IT MAKES NO GOD DAMNED SENSE!
I like this idea of the kidnapping. It’s the best part of the whole thing. So I’m gonna keep it and I think I’ll make the investigation/ exposition of it all central to the book. It’ll work well that way. I decided a while back as well that a POW camp was a bit obvious (and overdone,) so I needed something a bit more sinister. I eventually settled on an old, abandoned Cathar Fortress called ‘The Gate.’ This also solves the ‘Island the size of Wales’ problem and means I can relocate the action to the Pyrynees. There are other location issues as well but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
Another issue with the first version was the lack of any central character. I’ve already solved this. One character from the original was a journalist by the name of Charlie Fuller who found himself imprisoned by communists near to the POW camp. Don’t ask. I’m dropping the journalist aspect of his character and instead making him an employee of the Morfasson (solves another problem.) He’ll be the one doing the investigating and i think i’ll make him narrate the first half, which will be entirely new material explaining how he ended up imprisoned- Though this time he’ll be in the same place as the others and not a separate place run by another entirely different set of nut jobs.
So… Shall we begin? I don’t think I’ll do chapters, just have three separate parts to it. As Charlie is narrating the first half I think I’ll write it in an older style. Kind of Dickensian/Austen but… Well sort of. Kind of detailed but done it in as few sentences as possible… Which is kind of a bit like Dickens I suppose. Either way it looks sort of old fashioned. It seems to me to be very formal and stiff and proper which i think gives it an added sense of depth.
The first new ‘main Character’ I’ve introduced is a guy called Jeremy Compton, who speaks a bit like this, only infinitely more sinister.
Jeremy only came into my head as I was writing but already I know his role in the story and its going to have a large impact on the way the book plays out. It also kind of acts like a foreshadowing for something that happens in a later book. Anyway… I’ll come back to Compton some other time as he isn’t really important for the time being.
I’ve essentially decided to start the book from Charlie’s birth. For example, like you have in David Copperfield or Great Expectations and then briefly whizz through his childhood until I reach the main plot later on. I think this so far is the most interesting part of the reboot. It’s enabled me to add a very different, and infinitely more interesting backstory. Previously his backstory was virtually non-existent. It was there but it was about as weak as the rest of the book. Charlie now has proper parents whereas before he had a father in another book (who will now have to go as his father dies not far into this book) His mother suffers post-natal depression and his father suffers from post traumatic stress disorder from the war. There’s also a dodgy teacher by the name of Mrs Tebot and a brutish headmaster with a hatred of facial hair (called Carrion.)
Ahhh… Facial hair. It was when I reached this point that i noticed that the subject keeps creeping into my writing, quite a lot. There’s a fair amount in Rebels (where it’s used to symbolise maturity and the onset of it) and it crops up majorly in Volume 2 of Dark Legend… So I decided that this book should be no different. I’ve put in a sub-point to Charlie’s character where his Grandfather tells him that a man who never grows a beard is never to be trusted, which prompts Charlie to desire one and inevitably leads him into conflict with the headmaster. I might make a point later on of having the villain and his followers be completely bald and clean shaven. just to get the point across. In fact… That is really sinister. All the antagonistic characters have no hair… That is good!
So what do i have so far? A re-jigged plot, Jeremy Compton and some facial hair. Excellent. This should be a good book.