Let’s talk about Forlorn Hope. The novel I’ve spent the last 2 (and a half?) years writing and rewriting and plotting and editing. I don’t talk about it a lot because frankly, I don’t feel like people care. But lately I’ve been really working on it and I wanted to share it with you guys. I want your opinion. So wanna help me out?
Let’s start with a super rough synopsis.
My name is Azlyn Dever and I am a Christian. I thought I knew what that meant, but now I’m not so sure. Now my best friend friend can see demons. A boy from my youth group is a prophet of sorts. And me? All I can do is watch my world fall apart.
Okay I literally threw that together in ten seconds and its okay at best. Sorry about that. Really that’s the only way I can think to put it together. It’s a book about three friends and their battle against spiritual warfare. Today though, I wanted to focus more on the characters. They’re the ones that carry the story. I also made collages to go with their aesthetics and each day I’ll post about a different person. (
All pictures are from Pinterest so sorry if I stole your image. )
Today I want to introduce you to my main character.
Azlyn is the narrator of this story. She’s also the only person in her friend group that is virtually completely blind to the spiritual realm, which obviously adds a lot of frustration for her. She struggles with chronic pain throughout the novel but in no way does she let that stop her from living. Azlyn is sarcastic and pretends to be apathetic when in reality, she cares too much. Her fatal flaw is that she thinks she has to save the world.
Aside from all that seriousness, Azlyn really enjoys pizza and the color maroon and dislikes coffee. She binge watches Mr. Robot in her free time and really likes to make jokes with her best friend, Sadie. Azlyn has a fierce devotion to Ed Sheeran. She hates the word “hipster” but that’s what she is. She’s sarcastic, sassy, and hecka angsty.
If I had to pick a favorite character, it would be Azlyn. I had wanted to name a character that since middle school when I read the Star Wars: Legacy comics. But when I started plotting this, I strongly didn’t want to use that name. But then I found out it meant “vision or dream” and I had to. In my first draft, Azlyn had premonitions and nightmares, so that name fit perfectly. So basically, she was inspired by the John Ostrander character.
But besides that, I understand her more than any character I’ve ever written. Writing her is like putting a piece of myself onto paper. Writing her story has inspired and helped me in more ways than I had ever thought were possible. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into when I decided to write her story for my ’14 NaNoWriMo. And as each draft changes, it changes me too.
I think Azlyn makes the best protagonist because she’s the least qualified of all her friends and yet she matters. By all means, she shouldn’t be the MC, and yet it’s her perspective that the story gets told from. Personally, I think that’s rad.
So that’s her. Also, enjoy a small snippet of a scene starring my lovely Azlyn Dever.
A slight knocking sounded at my door.
“Come in.” My voice sounded so pathetic outloud. I rolled onto my side and the light from the hallway shone right in my eyes, making me feel like I was being blinded. My migraine screamed at the light, forcing me to shut my eyes,
“I brought you some food and a soda.” I recognized my mom’s voice despite the fact my brain felt like pudding. I heard the door shut behind her followed by a clicking noise. When I opened my eyes, I saw she had turned my desk lamp on. Underneath it she had set a plate of mashed potatoes and chicken, alongside a can of Mountain Dew.
Mom seemed sad, despite the fact that she was smiling. Her smile wasn’t one of joy, but of pity. And I hated pity. She almost seemed tired, which wasn’t unusual for her considering how much she worked. Her ginger hair, which was the exact same shade as mine, was thrown up her usual After Work Messy Bun. She had washed away all her makeup, leaving her face red and her freckles stand out.
I sat up, attempting to ignore the pain so I could reach for the Mountain Dew. Upon seeing my hand, Mom picked up the can and, after opening it, handed it to me. The snap-hiss of the can opening relaxed me, in a weird way. I prayed the caffeine would help me this time, even though I was fairly certain it wouldn’t.
“I have your meds.” Mom’s curled palm reached out to me and I took the pills from her. I took them in two’s, as was my usual routine, until they were all finished. I washed them down with my carbonated drink. I could feel the pills being pushed down my throat, followed closely by the sizzling sensation of a soft drink.
“Alright, so an 8.”
I gave her the soda back and collapsed onto my bed. Mom set the can on my nightstand. She came over by me and pulled a blanket over my body ever so delicately, like I was a kid again. But I wasn’t. I wasn’t a kid because if I was, then Ariel would still be around and I still would have had time to save her and Sadie wouldn’t be going crazy.
“What are you thinking about, sweetie?”
“What?” I squinted my eyes at her.
“You have your thinking face on. What’s going on?”
“Nothing. I don’t want to talk about it.”
Despite my unwillingness to talk, Mom sat down on the bed with me. Her hand held onto mine and I felt the warmth of her presence flood me. Mom’s had that effect on people. They were both warming and cooling all at once.
I moved my arm to cover my eyes. “What would you do if you felt God calling you to do something you didn’t want to do? And how would you be a good friend to someone? Like, if you don’t know how.”
Silence followed. I assumed she was thinking of an answer. Or trying to put a context to my question. That was another thing Mom’s do. They always try to figure out what’s going on when you ask a generic question.
“For your first question, I would say to look at people in the bible who disobeyed God and see if that’s the life you want.” She chuckled, probably because she was thinking of a particular story in her head. “And as how to be a better friend…think of how you would feel in Sadie’s situation, I assume this is about Sadie, and think about the things you would want her to do for you.”
I rolled my eyes, even though they were still closed. I didn’t know why I hadn’t expected her to name Sadie. She was my mom, after all.
I felt her lips press against my forehead softly. “You’ll figure it out soon. I know you will.”
As she left, the pain in my head doubled. I was fairly certain she left my room. I heard the clicking of a door locking in its socket. There was silence for only a brief moment before I succumbed to tears.