ON THE PROTAGONIST OF CURE ME—
Good news (maybe): I’m writing a thing.
Bad news: I can’t really talk about the thing.
Because if I talk about the thing, I will probably spoil the thing. And then I’d have to kill you.
The thing is Cure Me, and I wanted to write a whole post on it, but after I sat here and stared at my screen for a while, I realized that I couldn’t really write about coming up with the initial idea without spoiling the rest of the book.
But LOL I’m gonna try anyway.
You know how I had some bad experiences with trains… recently…
At first I was like, “Wow this is awful maybe I should do something about it like Google how to properly ride trains or talk to someone who understands rail systems.”
And then I realized that ACTUALLY, the solution was to WRITE AN ENTIRE NOVEL ABOUT IT.
I mean, sort of, because this novel may have started with a train, but it’s continuing with a web of CIA secrets and a government conspiracy.
Let me go back. I had this idea. This girl. I’ll be the first to admit that she kind of crept up on me, and even after I acknowledged her, she was incredibly illusive. She was someone I couldn’t pin down right away, someone who kept changing every time I tried to write her.
And then, all of a sudden, last month, I knew why.
It was because she didn’t even know who she was. She was screaming because if she kept silent, she felt like she would disappear. She was fighting because if she stopped, she thought she would never matter to anyone.
I thought for a while that that was just an excuse that I made up to make myself feel better about not knowing how to write her. But then one day it hit me that actually, this was what her story was about—fighting to understand who you are, to be heard, to matter.
So I decided to put her in prison. Because METAPHORS.
No, not just because of metaphors, I swear. I decided to drop her into a world that I’d tried to create multiple times over the past few months, but hadn’t been able to (seriously, this was an idea I’d stopped to write down while walking across the Charles Bridge in Prague). All of a sudden, with this character, that world became… right.
And my character, just by being there, changed it. It never ceases to shock me how I can think I know exactly what’s going to happen in a story, but the characters will always manage to do something to throw me off. Basically, I’ll always end up staring at a line I just wrote, going, “That was definitely not part of the plan.”
As I was outlining, one phrase kept running through my head. I don’t remember. I would sort of shake it off because a.) I was not going to write a story about amnesia, and b.) I was not going to write a story about amnesia.
And then she would pipe up again, I don’t remember any of it.
So now, I’ve got to deal with this delinquent high schooler who’s in prison and doesn’t remember what she did to land herself there. But other than that, she’s average. Completely average. Which is interesting to write, after spending a couple years with Charmaine, who is utterly extraordinary in every way. But I think, in this case, it was important that at one point, this girl was just a normal teenager, despite her unusual circumstances.
Because she desperately wants to be special. But she always has that voice in her head, telling her that she’s not. So where do all those secrets come in? Um… guess you’ll have to read to find out? *winks* *offers you many bribes*
This is Evynne Holt.
CM wordcount: 19,200 words.