I paused in writing my new dystopian novel (with 23’000 words clocked up in Scrivener) to adjust the first ten chapters. Now the two main young characters say ‘I’ in the present, whereas the older characters are ‘he’ and ‘she’ in the past. The result is surprising.
At the same time, life has become markedly more difficult for the main character, who has to struggle to uncover her mission in life and the extraordinary means she has to achieve it. As a result, writing the story has become all the more exciting.
Here is a short extract that gives some idea of the challenges building a narrative about two people sharing the same body. For those of you who have read Boy & Girl, the theme will be familiar, but it is taken further here.
“It must be pretty hard to come to terms with not being alone in his body. Just imagine what it would be like for you. If I could talk to him that might help, but it’s not easy. He systematically opposes whatever I try to do. I keep having to assert my will over his. It’s tiring and only makes him more antagonistic. Maybe you could try to explain things to him. He might accept it more readily if it came from his father…”