Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
I’ve gotten back to work on Vivian’s Last Cigarette this week. :-) Picking up where I left off, I finished chapter thirteen on an ominous note. Then I began the climax proper with chapter fourteen, starting it with a glint of hope… Only to have a main character walk unawares into a trap thereafter. Needless to say, there was lots of dramatic tension as I reached forty-eight thousand words in total!
By the end of this chapter, I’ll cross the fifty thousand word mark on the novel. There should be only two more chapters needed to finish the draft after that, so the final goal is in sight!
Chapter thirteen and fourteen have shifted to a darker tone more persistently than many of the others preceding them. Of course, I’ve had lots of recent disruptions to my writing schedule lately, from a number of disjointed factors. But these chapters have been tough to write emotionally as well.
This is due to the growing presence of a group of teenaged hooligans called “The Hammerfists”. They’ve been present in the piece since chapter one, poking a shorn head up here and there… But they are now a key element of the climax I am writing.
In the context of the story, they’re a small gang of thugs affiliated with the wider movement/group that gives them their name. Basically, they’re Neo-Nazi skinheads that have shifted their viewpoint from human racial lines to an “All humans united against all changelings” mentality.
Changelings are the formerly human orcs, elves and so on that started appearing about three years prior to my story’s setting of a “1989 that never was”.
There is a lot of fear about the changelings. Nobody understands how or why people are changing, and what it means for the future of humanity as a whole. Most “normals” treat them with bias, and many of the more unsightly changelings like orcs are subjected to outright hostility. Sadly, resistance against these biases by gobliniod changelings has generally turned into fuel for the ugly sentiment that “the change has made them violent and dangerous”.
This fear is rampant, and as the number of changelings hits 1 in 1000 persons the political and legal battles are gearing-up on both sides.
The Hammerfists are the violent fringe of a wider movement that is just as ugly as they are, but more nuanced. What makes this fictional hate-group disturbing to me, as their author, is how real they feel.
They don’t have special powers or abilities. In fact, they don’t have much in the way of resources beyond fists and bad attitudes… and because of that they feel like real and believable threats. Perhaps even a little too real, particularly when I look up and find the inspiration for my leering Human Supremacists staring back at me on the news.
But great villains, as well as heroes, need to have a believable core. I feel the Hammerfists have that and more.
Mine isn’t a sweeping story of epic fantasy saving the world. It’s the story of two teenaged outcasts finding an adult love in a Maine town. I don’t need an army of darkness and their dark lord to threaten them… A gang teenaged hooligans and their crafty, hateful leader is just as good as a host of Mordor here.
And the apocalypse the Hammerfists represent is more than capable of ending the world as my young lovers know it.
Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!