It’s amazing the sort of things you come across while researching odd fact here or unusual factoid there. I couldn’t recall if I’d shared this before, but this Famous Cowboy Names site has been an invaluable resource for coming up with character names. Not the popular names of course, but the real life names. Hearing a popular name that’s used today in an old west piece just throws me completely out of the mood, because you’re stuck listening to it over and over again in the story. I didn’t want to let that happen here.
Another interesting site I stumbled across yesterday was The Food Timeline for Pioneers. The section for Lewis and Clark’s provisions were especially fascinating, and when you’re writing about a werewolf who relies on animal (or human) meat to sustain his regeneration, knowing how to get that food in the middle of a desert is useful. I had no idea that tin cans of portable soup was available in 1803 as food rations. I suppose I’m a little rusty with my dates after reading Night and The Jungle. Here’s a bit that I found fascinating:
“Finally there is ‘Portable Soup.’ …Lewis has become aware of this dried soup and writes to General William Irvine concerning it on April 15, 1803, Israel Whelan for the United States writes payment for ‘193 lbs. of Portable Soup at 150 cents (for a total of) $289.50.’ … Francois Baillet, the cook/provisioner, is probably the person who packs the finished product into the separately ordered tin cannisters. “
So regarding the plot today, I finally got a background story for Colton established. It starts as your typical foolish boy goes out on a full moon night, and ends up with a creepy Pete’s Dragon vibe to it.
(Yes, you too can enjoy that song being stuck in your head!) After that, they head to a stream where bandits drop in on them. It’s one adventure after another, and I only hope they’ll have reached the farm by the half-way point of this book. 😛
Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak – Working sequel for Night Feeders.
Summary: An old abandoned shack just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. On top of that, there may be far more dangerous creatures lurking within the caverns outside the city.
Current total words: 15,075
New words written: 3,332
Total Words for 2012: 24,656
Snippet: A peek into Colton’s werewolf origin.
Ever since that night when he foolishly decided to run away from home, careless of the full moon in the clear night sky, he had never truly known freedom. It had seemed like a good idea, using its light to guide him through the dense forest, but it had been his undoing. He had barely walked a mile when the wolf had pinned him, its full weight on his back and the pain of snapping ribs beneath him. It had bitten his shoulder, taking out a chunk of flesh and swallowing it down in a single breath. […] He’d felt the hot blood dripping down his throat, and was barely aware of the group of hunters that appeared.
There were three of them, and they weren’t regular game hunters like his father. They wanted the beast, but they wanted it untarnished. Later Colton discovered that they had followed it much of the night, waiting for it to strike so that they could catch it off guard. They needed bait but weren’t enthusiastic about throwing their own lives on the line. At twelve years old, Colton fit the need nicely.
Yeah, names can add so much or detract a great deal to a story.
Some names can get stuck to a character, like Hermoine for example. It’s a perfectly good name, but that character has claimed it as her own now. Anyone else who tries to write a book with that name may have trouble getting the reader to see the original character and not JK Rowling’s.