“This is a really bad idea,” she says to herself, standing before the sign that marks the town line.
Welcome to the first-ever Town Line Tuesday! What’s that you ask? As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in the process of writing a novel. My first novel in fact. Like many young writers (at least I assume I’m not alone in this), I’ve got a slew of half-started works on my laptop hard drive dating back to my teenage years that for one reason or another (weird half-formed ideas, overly complex plots, plots that are too simplistic, boring characters, etc.) have been abandoned and left to gather dust. The Demon of New Salem, as I’ve tentatively dubbed this project, is different not only because I’ve grown since my first stumbling attempts at writing but also because it haunts me in a way that the others didn’t. This story completely took over my entire college career to the point where I developed a serious case of writer’s block for anything that didn’t involve my main character. Daphne Pendragon, the aforementioned protagonist, is a ghost that follows me wherever I go, simultaneously a comforting presence and an annoying one. I can’t watch TV or read a book without thinking about how Daphne would interact with the characters, when I come across problems in my daily life I often wonder how she would handle them, she’s a constant reminder of this thing I’ve set out to do. All that being said, those previous abandoned attempts taunt me, tell me I’ll forget about Daphne just like I’ve forgotten them. So, to answer your question, Town Line Tuesdays are going to be a place for me to discuss The Demon of New Salem and, hopefully, hold me accountable to actually finishing this novel.
I’ve decided to call this series of posts Town Line Tuesdays because in The Demon of New Salem, the town line that surrounds the fictional town of New Salem, Oregon plays a critical role in the story (plus, you know, alliterations are fun). New Salem’s town line defines the town in more than just the literal it-defines-the-physical-shape-of-the-town sense. It is the mysterious and magical boundary that separates New Salem, a supposed haven for Humankind from the rest of the world where Supernaturals–creatures such as vampires, werewolves, fairies, demons and angels–run rampant as the denizens of New Salem would put it. The town line makes New Salem what it is, it is the town’s very backbone though its origins and the whys and hows of how it works are shrouded in mystery. For Daphne, who is neither human nor entirely supernatural but something in-between, the town line is where she must make a choice: turn around and return to the life she’s built for herself–an admittedly tenuous and unstable one but a free one nonetheless–or cross over the line and face the town that raised her, built her, and ultimately exiled her and maybe find the closure she needs to finally stop running
I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to do this kind of post, terrified of putting my ideas out there and no idea of what I would even talk about here if I did. Like Daphne, I stand at the town line, safety behind me and the unknown before me and–like Daphne– despite the illusion of choice I’m left with only one thing to do: cross over. I still don’t know exactly what will be discussed in these posts, maybe some small excerpts, maybe some character insights, maybe some world building, probably some discussion about my process, the obstacles I come across and how I get through them (writer’s block sucks y’all), but I’m excited (and scared as all hell) to invite you on this journey with me.