SAVAGE ANGELS -- Update #6

(so what's update #6 doing here after update #7? I ska-rooed up, dat's wot hoppen...)

[previous]

Now to give them names and faces, histories and descriptions.

Creating characters is part art, part science, part inspiration.

When I was growing up, I read a lot of stories in Boy's Life, the Boy Scout magazine.  Many of them were about plucky Boy Scouts[1] finding themselves in challenging situations where as luck would have it, their merit badge skills and knowledge came through to save the day.

I must've read dozens of these stories, and I can't remember a one: They all blend together in a blur of resolute young lads who never had an ignoble thought or went to the bathroom.[2]

If my characters were going to be memorable, the first thing I needed to do was to kill off all the good girls.

Nobody likes a goody-two-shoes (me, especially) and by making my girls the losers,

the outcasts,

the problem cases

I ratchet up the stakes.

Logically there would be a supervising adult with them, one of the nuns, but my story couldn't use a real authority figure, so I came up with Sister Agnes, a young novitiate who was an upperclassman when the other girls were freshmen.

She, too, had been a problem case and the other girls remember this and have a hard time taking her seriously.

A hard, hard time.

There's no one way of creating a story, you don't always start at one point and build out from there.  Once I had my basic idea and knew what type of characters I would be using, the next step was plotting the story out.

This story was going to be more picaresque than something with a more linear plot.[3] There were any number of things that could happen to the girls, so I drew up a list of all eventualities.

Soon they began organizing themselves: These things could only happen while drifting at sea, these would be items of immediate concern once they found land, these were natural perils, these were man-made.

And each idea had the potential for spinoff ideas: The sister demands decorum from the girls, but it's a desert island, how do you balance propriety with practicality?

[1]  Wow!  What are the odds of that!

[2]  Though they could, of course, dig a perfect field latrine and rig a rustic shower out of two saplings and an old bucket.

[3]  A mystery, for example, where each clue leads to the next.

 

(to be continued)

SAVAGE ANGELS -- Update #1

"New American Calvinism" by Steven Grant

This Explains The Difference Between Men And Women