Sleepless Nights

I’m not sure why, but I woke up at 4:30 in the morning today. Normally, no matter what time it is when I go to bed I can always manage to go back to sleep, but not today. I ended up going into work early instead.

It’s eerie just how empty the world feels when you’ve woken up early. For me, it has a dark feeling that I can’t quite shake off. It’s one that isn’t present when you’re staying up late. Staying up late and having everything be quiet is peaceful, but when you’re going to work at six in the morning, it just ends up feeling like you’re walking through a ghost town.

It doesn’t help that the sun hasn’t risen by that time so there’s this pre-dawn feel to the entire thing.

I’ve been gearing up for Nanowrimo (as I’m sure anyone who’s reading this has heard ad nauseum), but today is the first day that I really feel that excitement. My desk has pictures on it now of the characters. My iPad only has two playlists, instrumentals for this novel and regular songs for this novel. I was listening to it on the subway this morning and with my eyes closed, I could almost pretend that I was Tyus.

Tyus is going to be one of my main characters in this endeavor and one of the hardest things so far to write about him is that he’s blind. I’ve never written a character that lacked what could be considered a basic function, but this novel I’m trying two characters. Tyus, who cannot see and his sister, Shalin, who cannot speak. To be able to convey what Tyus is experiencing without relying on his eyesight or to somehow find ways for Shalin to express herself without making her speak is something that I’ve really been struggling with. I know that it has been done in novels before, but I’ve never read anything where those people who functioned differently were main characters.

It’s true that both Tyus and Shalin will be sharing their spotlight with three other characters who have no immediately obvious weakness, but I hope to balance the characters in a way where even though some are at a disadvantage in some ways, others will be similarly disadvantaged in others.

This is also the first novel I’ll be attempting (or even the first story I’ve attempted) where there wil be more female main characters than male ones. As a writer I’ve always found it easier to write male characters or even to come up with male characters. My female characters are ones who I’ve always struggled with and as such, they’re usually relegated to supporting characters. But the ratio of main characters this time is three females to two males, so it will be something new for me.

Thinking about it, I guess this novel has a lot of firsts embedded in it as it’s also the first time that I’m trying to work with a main cast that is larger than two people. I don’t think I have Joss Whedon’s gift for balancing out a large cast of main characters, but I’m going to give it my best shot. I guess if I get stuck on what to do or how to possibly cope with so many different backstories and different personalities, I could always go watch the Avengers~.