Well, the time has come that I should be beginning my novel, but I’m going to take a few minutes to talk about something interesting.
A few minutes ago, my story changed. Unprovoked, unexpected. It was just suddenly there, whole, in my head. First of all, it’s become fantasy again. I think that might’ve been the trigger for the change. I’d been thinknig from the start, How do I make the war seem so horrific? How do I portray that? Why is it particularly bad in this case?
That last one is what did it. There is now a reason – and that reason forms a motive for the southerners to invade, a reason they win so easily, and a task for the protagonist to complete. I’m not entirely sure of source or nature, but there’s some kind of destructive magic been uncovered by the southerners, and it is absolutely devastating in battle.*
This rise of the southern army into such a prominence in the storyline now requires the southern character I had been considering. I even have a bit of the story structure in mind, and some scenes from mid and late in the book have fallen into place.
Now I just need to work on the beginning – suddenly the early bits I had in mind don’t quite fit so well. Going to have to rearrange a bit.
*The author would like to apologise to M. John Harrison for this blatant ripoff of the setup in his novella The Pastel City. He cannot help the way that the books he is currently reading influence his own ideas. He very much enjoys Mr Harrison’s work, and couldn’t possibly hope to match his writing ability.