25 April 2006

Possible concept statement for next NaNoWriMo

Well, I've repurposed this site from the notes for my 2005 novel to notes and development for novels that I may write in the future as well. In celebration of the fact, I came up with this idea a day ago and wanted to get it down before it disappears. It is based on a dream I had some 15 years ago.

At the core of the story is a curse. So I suppose this places the story into the fantasy genre. A man loses his wife in an accident that also disfigures his daughter. He is heart-broken and cares for the small child as best he can. A witch takes pity on him and his daughter. She tells the man that she can take the girl and restore her to beauty, but that she will never be able to leave the witch's service as a price. The man is horrified that he will also lose his daughter, but knowing the misery she will have growing up disfigured, if indeed she is able to grow up, he seriously considers the option. As he gives up his daughter for her own good, he suddenly balks and asks if he can never see her again. The witch tells him that should he ever meet his daughter again, she will love him in a way in which he cannot reciprocate, and that she will hate him for it. Horrified at the thought that his daughter might love him incestuously, the man gives her up and flees the country to prevent them ever encountering one another. The story is what happens to him and to his daughter that brings about the fulfillment or the breaking of the witch's curse.

I recorded the dream when I had it about fifteen years ago and I'm going to try to find the tape. Most of what I remember of it, however, is irrelevant to the way I've started to conceive of the story. I just had to get something creative down to start thinking about for November. After all, it is almost May.


Anonymous said...

To me, it sounds a lot like the original story of Rapunzel. Just a thought. Although in that story there were pregnancy cravings and whatnot.

jason said...

Sounds like great fare for a young-adult novel, but I wonder if it'll really work as a novel for adults. As soon as you throw a curse in there, and have the dad trying to avoid it, the reader is just going to know that the whole rest of the novel is building up towards a resolution of that. The foreshadowing seems, perhaps, a bit too strong and yet impossible to avoid.

But perhaps you can find a clever way to make that work to your advantage. Allow the reader to think that for sure, somehow, the curse is going to come true. Have, in fact, the whole story line re-enforce that idea. And yet, all the while, you sneakily weave other things into the plot which, in the end, combine to defeat the curse and surprise the reader.

Or vice-versa, if you don't want a happy ending.