Saturday, November 1, 2014

Back to Indigo (NaNoWriMo November 1st)

Art Whiddick, the Washco sheriff who has twice battled supernatural forces in the small Western town of Indigo, is back for the third round of stories in what I hope will be published next year as the Fateful Weather trilogy.

For my November blog project, I will be writing about my process all month, in addition to writing the novel Indigo Resolution for NaNoWriMo. I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer (a "Pantser" as opposed to a "Plotter" in NaNo jargon), so I discover the story as I write it. Nevertheless, I begin each year with a clear set of characters whom I understand well enough to describe their reactions, as well as a recurring theme (fateful weather), and a strong mental map of the town.

I realized that I would be writing another Indigo novel for this year's National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) only last week. Before then, I had a completely different novel that was also clamoring to be written. Throughout September and well into October, it was leading the mental polls of "What Shall I Write This Year?" Then suddenly last weekend (and despite good advice from a NaNo writing buddy), the other story dropped its campaign, and Indigo surged into the lead.

Indigo the town is loosely based on three real places: the town I grew up in on the eastern plains of Colorado, a small mining town in the Colorado mountains where I worked one summer, and a village near Eton College and Windsor Castle in England. The people are, of course, not based on any living real person, but of all the characters, Ryan Ballinson is closest to my heart. He's the one I give my own internal musings and conflicts to. 

I suppose the real person I think of while I write about Sheriff Art Whiddick, the protagonist of all three novels, is my father, a petroleum engineer who served in both the Army and Navy as WWII came to a close. He was on Shore Patrol in the Navy, then served as an MP in the Army, so he sometimes said he'd been "recognized as a natural policeman by two armed services." The experience served him well later, in riding herd on his 11 children.

There was a residence widely rumored to be a "witch house" in the town in which I grew up, and Indian artifacts and relics were common, especially at the foot of the bluffs outside of town. Both figure prominently in the novel this year; the house, or rather its idiosyncratic owner, has been a "character" in the previous two novels as well.

Everything else about Indigo and its other-worldly problems comes out of my own troubled mind...

Total: 2632 words