I’ve had a certain story stuck in my head for months now. NaNoWriMo will be my chance to finally get it down on paper. Over the last few weeks/months, scenes and other details have slowly been coming to me for this fantasy world that I will be plunging into on Nov 1st. Near the beginning of the story I’ve planned that my main character will undergo 3 kinds of baptism, water, fire and then finally earth. The picture below explored the first of these.
Yesterday I started sketching, first using charcoal, then some pens and finally I got the paint involved. What resulted was this simple concept for a scene. It’s not a great picture but it helped me sort my ideas into something coherent. The two rivers depicted are the Acheron and the Styx (which at the moment I’m using to symbolize life and death). This picture has a faintly nightmarish quality for me as it draws together several of my personal fears (which are also quite symbolic if I think about it, deep water and falling) this made me ponder a few things…but more about that soon.
The two river’s meeting place is a doorway of sorts to a realm where the main character will be tested to see if she’s worthy for a particular kind of ascension. The figure in the floating boat is the ferryman, who will take my character Sam to the churning nexus of these two violent rivers.
As I mentioned, the above picture plays on my fears a little. Last week I read a book by Stephen King called Desperation. While reading it I marveled at how effortlessly he pushes the reader’s (namely mine) fear buttons. It’s masterful and acts to connect the reader to events with an invisible umbilical that seems to say “this has meaning to me” . Then I remembered one of Joss Whedon’s quotes “I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m AFRAID of. ”
Writing is not just telling a story (well sometimes it is) but most times it’s about telling a story that matters to us personally, using things that impact us deeply. It is a mode of personal exploration as well as a mode of creation. This applies across all arts. This depth of personal meaning will invariably trickle across to your audience, creating a powerful resonance in the minds of some, making your story/picture more memorable, and perhaps important in their minds. So come Nov. 1st I will be falling a kind of rabbit hole with this novel, Severed Wings/ Neon Dreams (working title) falling deeper than I have before. I Imagine it’s going to be an interesting month… I’m not sure what’s going to happen…and that fact is both scary and exciting.