As of today, I’ve written 1,212 posts here on Apprentice Never Master in almost as many days. Three years ago, when I started this project, I couldn’t have imagined how much this rapid storytelling would feel like splashing graffiti on street corners, racing ahead of a well-meaning old man as he chased me down, waving his cane.
There’s laughter in it, and a few moments’ pause. Mostly, there’s breathlessness, delighted jags of color, and a few things that stick in memory as things I’d like to try again.
Characters, I’d like to write again.
Here’s ten I would like to revisit in the next year:
10. Damon from On His Feet
I like magic for all the strange things it allows me to do during a story, like have a man arrive, standing on a couch, for perfectly respectable reasons. I would like to play more with this method of teleportation, but I don’t think it would be as appealing without Damon, who seems perfectly comfortable standing on the good furniture.
Perhaps next, I’ll see what other strange situations he can appear in, still smiling.
9. Alcide and Mirelle from Grow
When I wrote this piece, I was just playing with the idea of Time Agents, assigned in pairs: one who could rewind time, and one who could fast forward through it. I actually thought I had done it before, in this piece, but I remembered it incorrectly.
I liked the idea of playing with the gap that would form in a working relationship when the two partners were born hundreds of years apart, on either side of a disaster, and what would happen when that disaster struck.
I don’t know where it goes next, but I definitely want to come back to it.
8. The Co-Captains from Too Good to Drown
I apparently never named these two, a good sign that I thought I was just writing something that would get thrown into the mental trash compactor. A month later, however, I still like them.
And I like this high-stakes water death match that they seem to be about to enter. It’s hard to resist poking at it.
7. The Dead Girl from Curse Gift
In this piece, I wrote a girl who couldn’t die violently. Or rather, she could, but it didn’t stick. The gates in the after life were left open for her, and, if she could find her way to them, she could escape back to her body. Sometimes it took her days, sometimes longer.
I wrote strangers discovering her body here. I’d like to write a piece where she has a friend who has to deal with her strangeness.
6. Ketrin from Bags and Boxes and Crates
I’ve written a few sailors who were injured on the job, chiefest being Barrett, who lost his hands and left his ship. It was something I wanted to play with this year, though I didn’t get around to it often. Ketrin, especially, I wanted to consider, because I invented her in the midst of her injury. She was still healing, and was still in the middle of the decision of what to do with herself.
I would at least like to write that decision.
At some point, I decided to create the Order of Holy Cops. I didn’t expect to love them as much as I did. But I liked the idea of a law enforcement that followed the dual deities of Justice and Mercy. I liked the idea of officers who believed they were watched and watched over daily by higher powers. I liked the idea of the Order being a refuge for people with limited options.
I’d like to come back to this at least once this year. Two or three or four times would be better.
4. Kimbra and Aylin from Balance
I like these two. I like the tension between the two of them. I like the secrets that prickly Aylin is clearly hiding without hiding. I would like to make Kimbra a member of the Order of Holy Cops.
Mostly, I would just like to let these two chase each other around the world a bit, and see what happens. I bet there will be explosives involved.
3. Ersi, Cintia, Teo and Maurei from Our Own Nightmares
I borrowed – and twisted – this idea out of a television show I was watching. I was, quite frankly, trying to fix something that irked me. I have completely forgotten what that was, and now I just really like these characters.
I also gave “the boy” in question a last name that already belongs to someone else I invented, which gave this piece both a geography and a time period in my head. It pretty much guarantees I’ll get my fingers back into it.
2. Braelyn from Black Sun
This piece is a revenge set-up. Braelyn is thirteen years old, the last member of a dethroned royal house. And she’s about to be sent home, back to her palace, her island, her attendants, but with none of the power. I like this revenge story, because it has nothing to do with geography. It’s just about control.
Control is a very fun thing for me to play with.
1. Dareya and Oren from Breaking In
I have always heard the story of the male conqueror who sweeps in and claims a bride from a previously ruling family to solidify his position. I wanted to try the story for a conquering queen who claimed a groom. What ended up with was an interesting relationship in which both of them could have been conquerors, just not simultaneously. I’d like to let it unravel a little more.
Possibly a lot more.
Do you have characters you would like to see more of? Who?