Edmund the Inventor, Rosemary the Recluse


It was a good day today. Erin and I got up fairly early, did some work on our computers, and then headed out for breakfast, and then to write. We had ambitions to go down to Oakville or Stratford, but instead we found ourselves at the local Chapters where I found us a table, and we got down to writing.

The Young City moved another five pages today. I also rewrote a scene. But more importantly, Erin gave another of my characters reason to exist. We already have Peter and Rosemary's love story, and we have Faith just leaping off the page with her Victorian spunk and her drive to go to medical school. But what about Edmund, Faith's brother? He was initially to be the main protagonist from 1884, granting shelter to Peter and Rosemary alone until Faith objected to being just a source of clothes for Rosemary and stepped onto the page. Since then, Edmund has been in Faith's shadow, and as the fourth protagonist of this book, he shouldn't be there.

Erin pointed out that, since much of the plot moves forward because Edmund's business is going under, what happens to Edmund after the villain, Aldous Magnait is captured and hauled off to prison? Unless the reward money is substantial (which I highly doubt), the underlying problem remains: Edmund is in debt, and his store will go under. Peter and Rosemary can't leave him to that fate. Besides, it's clear that he hates being a pawn broker anyway.

So, what if he didn't have to stay as a pawn broker? What if he was... an inventor, and one of his patents came through? Such news could finally convince him to turn against Aldous Magnait (who bribes Edmund by promising to keep his business alfoat). This would be a good resolution to his character, and the fact that he likes machines makes him even more of a kindred spirit for Rosemary.

The question is, what is Edmund about to invent? I have no idea. Erin suggests that I look through the list of Thomas Edison's inventions and find a fairly obscure one that Mr. Edison wouldn't mind palming off to Edmund.

I was also thinking of setting a couple of scenes in the story in 1884's edition of the Canadian Industrial Exhibition (Now the Canadian National Exhibition). Back in 1884, the CIE played host to one of North America's first electric railways, and we could have fun with Edmund getting excited over the fascinating new devices on display, and Rosemary trying not to be blais+ about it all. The problem with that, of course, is that this means more research. It is one of the reasons I decided to do this book -- but I don't have time to do the necessary research, yet...

So, with Edmund on his way to fleshing out his character, now all I have to figure out is what makes Aldous Magnate tick...

I'm also considering what Welwyn had to say about figuring out the climax and working back from there. When I said that the worst possible thing I can do to Peter and Rosemary (their emotional turning point) is to make them believe that they lost each other, I was still looking at ways to make this come about. And I remember that I'm playing with temporal portals here. What if Peter and Rosemary were separated, so that Rosemary could walk back through the portal, but Peter can't? Peter has to be dragged out of a burning building by Faith and Edmund and, as far as he's concerned, Rosemary's gone forever -- until Rosemary taps him on the shoulder from behind.

The river is full of portals, it seems, although Peter and Rosemary are on the verge of losing their access to them. So, when Rosemary stepped back into the river, she found a portal that took her back to 1884... a month before she left it. So, she's been lying low, living on the street until the moment she can be reunited with Peter. Peter, of course, is furious and overjoyed.

Too clichTd? Too pat an ending?

Sometimes this is the way a book gets written. I have no clue where I'm going. I know my destination, but the directions along the way haven't been written down. You just feel your way along in these situations, and remember to rewrite (extensively) at the end.

By the way, the photograph at the top of this entry is from a history page of the Young Women Christian Association in the Greater Toronto Area. They were around in 1880. Perhaps that's where Rosemary stays while she's alone for that month...

On the Trenchcoat Farewell Project front, I scanned in another eight images for Trenchcoat 4's The Sea of Doubt, and I've started a thorough regimen of proofreading.

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