For the last week, I’ve been splurging where Shakespeare is concerned. I’ve immersed myself in his plays, setting in on my goal of experiencing all of his works in some form – recording, film, print, or live – by the end of the year. I’ve wanted to do this for some time, and decided this summer was the perfect time to start, since I will be taking a course on Shakespeare and His World this coming semester. I have been a huge fan of his works for as long as I can remember, and he continues to be a huge inspiration to me.
However, this post is not meant to be an exhortation to Shakespeare. My topic is, in fact, one of my current works in progress, Outspoken, and a special little something that arose for it from my Shakespearean splurge. This project is the longest I have ever written, sitting at 85,000 words with quite a ways still to go. It’s a tale too vast to summarize here, though looking through my other posts on the subject may give you some idea. It explores human nature, the will to survive, the grey area between right and wrong, just and unjust, and so much more. It covers a long period of time, and the story so far has contrasted a time of peace in the kingdom with the lives of strife for it’s individual inhabitants. However, the country is taking a turn, and as it does, drastic changes are coming about in the lives of my characters. War is breaking out, and a three way struggle for power is on the rise. However, in the midst of this, peace is found for some individuals, along with a sense of belonging.
The main character of this story, Lucian, is the perfect example of this. He has led a harsh life thus far, filled with loss and suffering, where he has been lead to believe that he exists only for the use and abuse of others, and furthermore thinks that he deserves what he gets. But as the world around him is changing, his eyes are being opened to a larger picture – one in which he has unknowingly played a large role, and will have more yet to do. His actions are finally beginning to make sense to him, and for the first time in his life he feels like a valued, useful individual. He has somewhere to belong, and important work to do.
While reading Shakespeare’s Henry V, I came across a brief passage that seemed to scream of Lucian, and the entire cast of Outspoken. While attempting to break my temporary writers’ block early this afternoon, the passage kept surfacing in my mind, and I finally chose to do something with it, just to get my creative juices flowing again. What sprung from this decision is, undoubtedly, my favorite photo edit for Outspoken yet. I hope you enjoy it as I and my BETA readers did.