Because there's this story, see...
and maybe it's more than one story. A series of stories. I don't know, but the characters are starting to get loud.
So far, I haven't written a word down.
My first character popped up when I was studying - a girl, about age 11 - she is wearing a clay pendant around her neck, a goddess figurine.
She comes from a time so far outside the realm of today that I begin to imagine what her days might look like - while studying archaeology, reading the myths and fairytales of the lands - seeing what clues to her life they might reveal.
Months along (years along, frankly), copious notes are taken, but no story begun.
The girl gets restless.
At first I thought this girl might be a quiet one, but she let me know right away that she is *not* quiet. In one scene that shoved its way into my imagination - disregarding my resistance entirely - this girl disrupts a sacred community ritual (welcoming the yearly return of the beluga sturgeon) when...somebody....arrives home from a long distance trading journey downriver.
Arriving with that somebody is a stranger - one who will spark a chain of events...
well, so far that is all I know about this stranger. I stay tuned.
These characters' lives, their motivations, desires...all still in my head.
I ask myself, "When are you going to start writing?" So far, I don't.
The girl, the somebody, the mysterious stranger, begin to disrupt my trains of thought - at work, during dinner, even bursting into other books I am reading. They demand: I'm not leaving until you write my story.
I put them off, weaving and re-weaving their ever-growing-more-complex strands of life solely in my mind.
At some point, another girl, or a couple of girls show up...there's a school...training, the old ways...the girls come from three villages upriver...these all show up in plot imaginings.
In this mental first draft, anyway.
Keeping the various strands straight is growing evermore difficult.
I think of NaNoWriMo coming up in November. Boundaries. Deadlines. Free cheerleading. 'Thirty days hath November' - a beautiful, easily divisible, number of days. These characters have come wafting in and they need their stories to be written...and I need the structure to do it.
There is a true, (pre)historical theme that wafted in with these characters: someone in that world began to covet gold and individual gain - for the first time, by archaeological evidence. This change in mindset seems to be influenced by new tribes, horse riders, arriving from the east.
These dynamic horse riders bring their own beliefs - in a Father God - to cultures where only the worship of the Great Mother has ever been known.
My characters are growing up in this time of vast change: Old Europe. 4300BC. The end. The time when this mainly cooperative, widespread culture that lasted for eons, suddenly disappears from the archaeological record.
These girls to women,
these characters' adventures,
these dynamic, long-gone cultures.....the ties to today.
Restless characters, demanding their stories are told.
That's why I am jumping in for the second time this November - going for 50,000 words. Thank goodness for deadlines and cheerleaders - we writers, and our characters, need you.