No Tomorrow: Day 40

The first rule of a first draft, the only rule, is that you have to get to the end, but there’s a loophole to that.  Nowhere does it say your first draft has to be complete.  As I’ve said before, while writing No Tomorrow I’ve new directions to take the novel.  I didn’t find my villain until yesterday, there are characters I’m going to cut out, etc.  Two characters I can use as examples are a homeless man named Fletcher and a teenager named Walter.

Fletcher left the town of Romeo and I haven’t seen him for about fifty pages.  Last time I wrote about him, he had an idea to make himself a garden in an abandoned house.  Eventually, I was going to have him come back to town when he realizes that being on his own isn’t the best idea.  I have two choices here: get rid of him, or don’t have him leave town in the first place.  The characters seem to get along without him, so I might cut him out of the story altogether.  On the other hand, the image of Fletcher is so clear in my mind – he was based on a real homeless man I saw in Studio City – that I want to try to keep him in the tale, even if only as a minor character.

Walter is a character that I do want to keep.  He and his father aren’t the richest people in Romeo, but they’re not exactly the poorest either.  They’re sort of that one family in town that everyone knows has problems, but no one talk about what they are.  What I had in mind was that Walter and his father use the zombie plague as an opportunity to assert themselves.  Father and son take on the world, or at least the world within their own little town.  I also had it in mind that Walter would be involved in a doomed romantic relationship with another character.  The nature of this relationship was exposed last night, and I realized that it was so insignificant and that so little time had been dedicated to it that I could remove it altogether and you’d probably hardly notice.

And then there’s the villain, a guy named Julio.  Julio is the leader of a gang that has taken over the hospital of a nearby town.  We hear about him earlier in the story, but like Walter‘s relationship, it wasn’t until last night that he was introduced in person.  I think he’s got a lot of potential as a character, but at this point, he’s still quite underdeveloped; a sprout, really.

So where am I going with this?  I think the first draft is going to end today.  The ending itself won’t be fully formed, probably just an outline, but it’ll be enough for me to stay focused when I start revisions and reworking the plot.

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