Progress Journal for Aramis Gothboi: Book One
Mog’s ongoing account of completing the first draft.
Total word count: 16,314
2nd MILESTONE (15,700 words) REACHED!
I’ve reached my second milestone one week earlier than anticipated! Feels good to see that 20K goal so close that I can almost touch it.
“20k? Is that all?” I hear you say. And then you go on (because of course you do), “That’s pretty short for a first draft.”
Yeah, it is.
20K is an arbitrary number set to motivate me to push the project forward. As it’s tracking so far, when I complete this draft it will sit somewhere between 25K–30K.
To celebrate, here’s a picture of Brian the zombie because why not?
Celebrations aside, let’s focus on what have I’ve been doing this week. This week’s progress, as mentioned last week, has mostly been reworking and expanding upon existing material. I’m currently in the middle of Act II of the story and I’m finding that the action for each chapter is already there on the page, so the bulk of the work is adding dialogue and working on scene descriptions. The existing material has been workshopped and edited once or twice too, which has gone a long way toward making this whole section work and in it we finally meet Aramis, as well as see the stakes being suitably raised for everyone else.
“Act II? Isn’t that a little late to introduce your main character?”
There you go again and fair point too. For context let me quickly say that although this is currently titled the Aramis Gothboi Project, Aramis is not the protagonist of this book. Aramis does, however, play a pivotal role in Jo’s arc – this is her story. Additionally, many of the events in this book will set up future stories that will play out with Aramis (and others) as the main character.
Got it? Good.
Right, having worked my way through about six sections of this existing material, the weekend saw me finally at work on another chapter where the map wasn’t nearly as well-drawn. I stumbled at first in trying to get anything down, but once I sat down and just got on with the writing, I realised that because this narrative has been kicking around in my head for so long, it’s just a matter of putting the effort in so that it can pour out onto the page. This one (and the following four chapters) will most definitely require redrafts. Just like last time I was in this position, this chapter is really quite rough and will require another pass or two to iron out the details.
Speaking of details, I came to the realisation that I haven’t given Jo and the Worm Boys last names. Jo is an orphan so maybe it’s kind of fair enough, but the Worm Boys and their parents should certainly have family names. Anyway, they’re all getting one now (even Jo), so I’ll be spending a bit of time on this over the coming week.
One of the primary characters in this story that doesn’t need a last name is the house where Aramis lives. Gothboi Manor is a primary location for a number of the chapters I worked on this week, so I’ve been thinking about her a lot.
With this in mind, let me take you back once again to another time…
The year is 2012 and I’m developing a previous incarnation of this story as a comic book. Along with character designs, village maps, and all the other elements I’m juggling, I’ve also taken to designing Gothboi Manor. I’ve gathered reference material of all kinds, including any floor plans I could find for similar houses. I found inspiration in the meticulous work of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s comic series Locke & Key, and just know that I’ll have to put a lot of thought into making this house believable, so I’ve set about making floor plans of my own and rough elevation drawings to bring this integral piece of the puzzle to life.
Basically I wanted the setting to be believable, and to have a reference for not only what it looked like from every angle, but also how my cast would interact with the space both inside and out.
As is painfully evident, my own limited sketches left a lot to be desired and I even set about making a 3D model out of cardboard so that I could easily view the exterior of the house from any angle. Unfortunately the model didn’t survive, and it seems I didn’t take any photos of it either.
Oh well, no point dwelling on the past (unless you’re writing about it).
Toward 20K and beyond!