This week was particularly hard for me to think up a topic for Thursday’s Children. Why? I was over thinking.
Sometimes, if you over think something, you wind up shooting yourself in the foot. That’s precisely what I was doing with a recent chapter in RELIC THIEF (my YA high fantasy WIP). The chapter is composed of intensive traveling. It’s going to take my two MCs a total of nine days to reach their destination on foot. Because there’s so much, well, just plain old walking, I was stressing over how to make this chapter interesting.
Finally, I sat down and mapped out my entire chapter. I broke it down into three major scenes. I planned what I wanted to happen in each scene and what the purpose was behind each of those. Some of the scenes are about characterization, others worldbuilding or backstory (or a combination of all three). Then I decided exactly how much time was passing between each of those scenes.
The first scene opens with them just starting their journey. It focuses on characterization through the two of them bickering. Then three days passing are summarized. The next scene opens at the end of the third day, with them getting stuck in a severe thunderstorm. The two rather hate each other, but they’re forced to cozy up to each other to stay warm and dry. This scene focuses on characterization and backstory. The heroine also glimpses something in the night in a flash of lightning. Three more days pass. The final scene opens at the onset of night on this sixth (accumulative total) day. They happen upon an abandoned hamlet, and with the weather still dreary and constantly raining, they take shelter in an empty house (despite the heroine’s better judgement and bad feeling about the place). The two characters get into a bad argument and the heroine storms off. Her “bad feeling” is justified when she’s attacked by a monstrous creature that’s been stalking them throughout their journey. This chapter focuses on worldbuilding, backstory, and characterization.
The next step was finding music that would help inspire me to convey a sense of dread and building tension throughout the entire chapter. For that, I give to you The Isle of the Dead, Symphonic Poem Op. 29 by Andrew Davis (this piece was apparently inspired by a painting in turn titled The Isle of the Dead):
For a list of all those participating in this week’s Thursday’s Children, click here!