A year ago, one of the girls I blog with over at theprosers.blogspot.com talked about this fun letter game she did with her friend and invited anyone who wanted, to start a new game. When I said, sure I'd like to play, I didn't realize an amazing thing was about to happen. I didn't know I'd meet Sam.
It seemed like a recipe for disaster. Three very differently minded people working together to tell a story for fun. Melanie writes romance. I write weird stuff that constantly surprises me, and Sabrina writes Horror. Horror. This does not seem like the mix that made the kind of magic it became. It could have exploded, it could have been dropped because we were all too busy. Somehow, it became Alchemy.
Let me tell you a bit about it.
We came up with the world of the story first. There were a lot of ideas, and we worked together to finalize the kind of story we wanted to tell. We decided to write a YA Paranormal story. Modern enough to fit Sabrina's sensibilities, with rules of magic that make logical sense to fit Sabrina's scientific mind. We decided there would be a love story, to keep Melanie, (and me) happy, and I wanted to keep everyone on their toes. Believe me, I got what I wanted. This was going to be a "exercise in adaptability," and 90% of the adaptation happened because me and Sam have weird ideas. :)
We decided the rules of magic in a facebook message that is still going, probably 3000 messages long (and counting). We chose the specific setting, a creepy rehab/boarding school where rich people send their infected privileged teenagers.
We knew what would happen(ish), and then we chose who it'd happen to.
We each chose a character POV. Melanie created Ana, a sort of 'Every Girl" who is the path into this story. Ana is phenomenal. She's lovesick, and determined. She's powerful, and used. She's bait, and she's a weapon. And she gets to make out with super cute boys.
Sabrina wrote Juliette. Juliette is a tornado girl,with so much hurt inside that she lashes out at everyone. She's unpredictable, and feels unloved. She's a hero, and she takes care of her friends. She's a raw, broken, beautiful girl.
With those two strong female POV's, I knew I had to write from a male POV. Problem is, I've never written from a male POV before. I was all bluster, and bravado as I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. Besides, it wouldn't matter. Remember this whole story was just written for fun. I decided to just write and try to entertain my friends. I wanted the story to be worth the price of the postage stamp, but other than that, it was just for fun.
But then I got to know Sam.
Sam was a bullied kid, who never really grew out of his victim label. He moved away, got a girlfriend, became popular, but it always felt like a lie. He was being someone else, someone accepted, normal, and good. Just not real.
In the story, these three characters become infected with a disease that gives them magic, and the events of Sam's infection shook him up, and left him with a darkness inside that he can't leave. He hides from the darkness by joking, flirting, playing sports, and mostly by making out with girls. He's trying to get over his pre-infection girlfriend Katie, and it's simply not working.
I love to write a love story. It's part of my writing genetics I think, and this story was a challenge for me. The person Sam is in love with is across the country. He can't be with Katie, maybe ever, but how can he get over her, when he didn't really even get a chance to say goodbye? How could I write a love story with only one character?
The answer is simple. Add someone else.
I didn't realize when we wrote it how amazing it was, the sad and joyous way these characters interact with each other. I didn't realize how lucky we were at all to pull together a cohesive story, let alone one I'm so proud of, it's going to be my sophomore novel.
It's kind of amazing. I can't wait for you all to read it.
And you can on October 11th. How neat is that?
Here is the post that started it all. by Sabrina
And here's a post written by Melanie in mid first draft mode.
Here's my pintrest idea board for alchemy.