Back when I revealed the name changes, I gave a few descriptions for the boys and briefly explained their personalities. At that time, however, I hadn’t gotten to the point in the story where I was going to write about them, and hadn’t given too much thought to what they really looked like. I had a general idea, of course, but they are younger in this one, so they won’t look quite the same. I want them all to be individuals, and there is a lot more to it than I originally expressed.
One of the reasons that I had to reread Peter Pan at the start of this project was to separate what was actually in the original book (aka, stuff I could recycle) and what might have been plugged in under the influence of Disney or some other version of the story. One thing I found was that I had some of my boys dressed in the same kind of skins as in the Disney movie. Particularly, I had Nibs in fox skin and Tootles, the heavy one, in bear skin. In the book, they were all in bear skins, round and furry, and had to wear these because they were not allowed to look at all like Peter, who wore leaves.
Back to the point.
At the place where I am now in the story, a big battle is coming up, and I realize that I haven’t even decided what sort of weapons they have! And the more I think about it, the more I realize that everything they have on, everything that they own, and every weapon they use has a story all its own. I may not tell all of these stories within the context of the novel, or I might only mention them offhandedly, but those stories are there, whether it deals with something they made, something they killed, or something they stole. It’s really interesting and each boy, down to the way he is dressed, is so intricate. I’d really like to do a few sketches, but I don’t think I have the time because of all the writing I’m trying to get done. :p
Example: Obviously, some of the boys are going to be brought out as a little more important than others because of their roles in the second book, and currently I’ve been thinking about Sly. For some of the boys, I only have to work backward, such as with Finn, who uses two blades and a gun. I don’t mind sticking with that, having him use the same sort of weapons in the first and second book, but Sly is different. Because of the corruption, he was animal-like in the second one and used his own claws as weapons… So now what? Well, I love that he is a hand-to-hand character. He’s actually the only one among them, and so I finally had the idea that he should have paw gloves with claws – basically the feet of something he killed – and he can put his hands inside them. Trophies and weapons all at once!
Another thing that’s happened recently is that I’ve taken to calling the group of them the wolf pack in my mind, instead of the Never-Ones or anything like that. That’s because I have them howling when they get psyched about something. …It’s just one of those things. It’s all part of the evolution of a story!
I just wanted to plug this info in to show you how a story might grow, and if you’re writing something yourself, you don’t always have to stick with what you planned out in the beginning. If something jumps out at you as you go along, run with it! I do make layouts when I write, but I don’t like to let them smother me. (In fact, I usually just make half an outline just to get me started and then leave the rest open for growth.) It’s my firm belief that you have to leave room for a story to breathe. Some of my best ideas were not planned out from the beginning, but grew on their own as the story evolved.
On another note, I reached my goal yesterday and hit 40k! But now I need to stop blabbing on here and get back to work! =)