This was another good day. It looks like if I keep up this pace, I’m due to hit the word count goal in just under a week. This will be before Thanksgiving. It’s a day before we can turn in our drafts for an official counting and we can claim our prizes. I will be very happy if I get done near that time.
I won’t be done with the draft, but I’ll have 50k words in. That’s excellent. I’ll keep up the challenge posts after I “finish” until I’m done with the draft.
Today’s plot point
There were several story lines. I’m only covering the most interesting one.
Barrie had an anthropologist friend who was conducting research on the brawlers on the circuit. She said some things that Reddy found to be grossly incorrect and offensive. Barrie was furious because Reddy didn’t understand that his friend had good intentions. Reddy made her feel bad saying those things. Redddy lost his temper and needed time to cool off. They made up a few days later, but talked about how important and personal his way of life was. Barrie talks about his similar experience being an ethnic minority was. They made up.
This section opened itself up to me. Barrie is a racial and ethnic minority in the story. It’s not come up as much of an issue, because most of the story takes place in the district historically reserved for people with his background or in the mage district that borders it.
Also, being a mage is a universal status. It’s statistically rare, but anyone in any country can be born a mage. Mages don’t see racial or ethnic barriers. To them, being a mage is much more important than someone’s race or religion. Every mage is equal. Mages are generally outcasts and viewed with fear, so they frequently band together and live separately from the rest of the population. So the fact that Barrie looks different and can fluently speak a second language wasn’t much of an issue.
But I realized that if I went by my world building backstory I wrote before the challenge, Barrie can’t travel very far without getting into trouble. Barrie and Reddy live in a very tiny country that borders a very large one. The tiny country broke off from the large country after a civil war less than a century ago. The little country hired thousands of mercenaries from Barrie’s home country to fight for them. It was brutal and there are people still bitter and upset about it.
For various reasons, the two countries are peaceful now. Reddy is a citizen of the large country and most of the people in the tiny country are his same ethnicity. He can travel freely back and forth. He has travelled for years on the professional fighting circuit. But Barrie can’t really travel outside his tiny country. Even though there’s peace, the average citizens of the large country blame the people from Barrie’s ethnic origin for their losing the war and all of the financial troubles they had after the wealthy nation broke away. People openly dislike and distrust Barrie’s people.
Barrie is very well educated, but up until a year before the story begins, Barrie had never left the country. He barely left town. He never even left the ethic district in the town except to go to school. Barrie may be smart, but he hasn’t had much life experience. Reddy can’t read and doesn’t know basic facts of history, but he’s very well travelled and has learned quite a bit in his travels.
I wrote all this because I find it interesting. I’m a hardcore planner. I outline to death. But some details of the story don’t become clear to me until I write it. The couple ends up having a happy ending, but I was worried that it wasn’t believable. I thought they might really be too different to make a realistic solution to their problems. Before this scene, it seemed Barrie would only be able to muster up pity for Reddy by the end of the story. To me, that was very disappointing and went against the whole point of their relationship and the themes in the story.
But the more I write, the more I discover that they aren’t as different as I though they were. The differences they do have balance each other out and they are turning into a very natural match for each other in my eyes. I hope other people feel the same way when they read it.
Question: Day 13
Today’s question from Snark Theater
was about the antagonist of the story. This is interesting. There is no villain, but there is definitely antagonist. I didn’t think of her that way because she’s very much a good person. She just doesn’t know how to run a business. The brawling house was losing money and was in danger of going broke. Reddy was hired because he’s a natural at finding ways to generate income. The people he’s worked for in the past allowed him to do anything he wanted. He’d make radical changes that the brawlers weren’t used to, but they rejoiced once the money started pouring in.
Reddy’s new boss is a staunch traditionalist. She only hired Reddy because several brawlers threatened to quit if she didn’t try to turn a profit and pay them. She blocks my character every step of the way and doesn’t let him change anything. Then she blames him when things go wrong. The main plot is basically him trying to do his job for a person that doesn’t let him do it.
It sounds evil. But she is very tender hearted and she has very personal reasons for resisting change. She’s also an aging faded celebrity and Reddy has been a fan of hers all his life. He really likes her. And that makes his job even harder. He doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. He hates finding out that she’s not the person he idolized as a child. He struggles with loving and hating her at the sane time.