April has its writing challenges. National Poetry Month -- a poem a day with Robert Lee Brewer from Writer's Digest's Poetic Asides and new to me, Blogging from A to Z, a blog hop with daily blog entries. Most days I find it easier to write on my current project (Years of Stone, historical fiction set in mid 19th Century Tasmania) and leave my blog to languish. But this April, prompted by writers from the IWW (Internet Writing Workshop), I will take on both challenges.
And continue work on Years of Stone. On good days, the writing is fun, the characters talk to me, and the story unfolds in dialogue. I can see Tasmania of 1842, sense the conflict between characters, their desires and their realities, and the words spill onto the page. My goal is simply to finish the draft by the end of 2012. OK, maybe by the end of summer. My word count is 50,000 so far; goal maybe 70,000 to finish the story.
The biggest unresolved plot question I have right now is tied up with smart-mouthed secondary/main character Mary Dallow. Mary survived the four-month voyage to Hobart Town by sleeping in sailors' quarters whenever she was bored (did I say this story is not YA and not a bodice ripper?). She found work at a waterfront tavern, fell in lust with a bushranger, and serves as a conduit between the two main characters -- Mac (a transportee) and Deidre (Mac's fiance who follows him to Tasmania). So, would Mary (despite her many travails) jump to get married? I'm beginning to think not. Or would she?
Some mystery writers start with a dead body and figure out who-done-it by the end of the book. Maybe Mary Dallow will let me know what she really wants . . . by the end of the book! But whoever she winds up with will have to be her equal, no pandering to convention for Mary, even in 1842. Unless . . .