Sunday, 8 May 2016

A Book's Genesis (May)


A Book's Genesis is  a monthly meme hosted by +Daniela Ark, you can check out the rules/future topics here

So basically it's all about Works in Progress (WIP) and each month there'll be a different topic related to a WIP. Because April is the first month of this it's kind of like an intro post! 

In the Beginning… there was AN IDEA . Let there be light: and there was light”

Well first an update on my WIP from last month Phantom...while it still needs a name (oops!) the first draft is with my best friend now who is going to help me 'rip it apart' (my way of describing the first round of edits I do...) You can read my introduction to Phantom here

So...the idea...I'm not very good at planning before I write, and if I do I find my characters start to rebel against me, so this one was interesting in that the plot was semi-structured for me. 

My main inspiration is naturally The Phantom of the Opera, which I first discovered as the film back in 2004 when I was just 11 (maybe 12). Since then I've read the book (and several retellings), watched it on stage, played the music (on the flute), and listened to the soundtrack so many times my iTunes would probably crash if I tried to find out how many.  

The soundtrack is actually where the idea for this started. Sometimes when I listen to soundtracks of musicals I like to imagine how I'd make it look if I was directing it (I can't sing otherwise I would totally be pretending to be Christine instead!), but it was originally just a quirk of mine that I had. 

Because of how much I love The Phantom of the Opera I had already been toying with the idea of a retelling, but I was going to set it in an orchestra with a flautist taking the role of Christine (mostly because I know the most about flutes than other instruments). Somehow the ideas merged and Annabelle the assistant director was born. 

I knew that I didn't want a paranormal style Phantom, and developed the idea that maybe some of the accidents could be a prank pulled by other cast members. And this is where my best friend, Anna, got involved. Anna's been a fan of The Phantom of the Opera just as long as I have, and the first time we both saw it on stage was together a few years ago. I sent her a photo of my first scene and she started to brainstorm with me. 

One of Anna's ideas was one that shaped the book into what it is now. She suggested that the Phantom character could be mostly in Annabelle's head in the form of an abusive past relationship. She was a little wary of it at first because she thought that it may open a can of worms for me, but once the idea took root that was it, Toby the Phantom (and Annabelle's ex) was formed. 

Toby did take on a bigger role than we first planned, but I think that was needed to keep the tension with the Raoul character (Jack). But honestly this book isn't meant to be about Jack and Toby, it's meant to be about Annabelle. It's her journey to get past what happened to her, and to be comfortable in who she is and in her relationships. 

If I'm completely honest with myself there is a lot of me in this book. While I didn't suffer anything near as bad as what I put my main character through, some of what I wrote about is exaggerated versions of my own past. And scarily, probably what would have happened to me if I hadn't been able to get out when I did. There's also some of me (and some of Anna) in Annabelle and Hayley's relationship. They're best friends, and the straight talking tough love between them is defintely there in mine and Anna's relationship! As is the unconditional support and the fact we can still be best friends even if we spent time apart. 

Let’s share our Sparks !

What are the books, movies, songs, characters that have inspired your WIP and why?

I probably answered this one above! But the main song that started this off is definitely Masquerade