Obviously I am attempting to immerse myself in Rio life in order to make my book work, and this has involved looking out for great resources that are available on the internet. Here the best I have found that really give you a feel for Rio life:
Check them out, they’re all interesting and each show a slightly different side of Rio and Brazil.
Keep it Rio
Right, so I think the most important thing to know about what’s in my book so far is the characters. The book takes place partly in Rio and partly in London, i.e. there are two different storylines going on at the same time. I think I’m going to have each chapter from the point of view of a different character although I’m looking for advice about this and will have to try it out to see if it works…
So anyway, here are the main characters:
Rio de Janeiro
Milo is twelve years old, a stigmatic (for more information on this, check out the Wikipedia article), and initially the main character of the book, although I have decided to change this and give all main characters a more or less equal role. He lives with his brother and mother in a favela (shanty town) in Rio. His family is very poor and Milo often turns to his strong faith to get him through difficult times.
Paulo is seventeen years old and desperate to escape from the poverty of the favela. He has lost his faith due to the apparent futility of his life, and also due to a secret he is yet to share with anyone. This desire to escape explains why he finds it so easy to lie to the public later on, when Milo and his healing powers become more well-known.
Carolina is the boys’ mother and although resigned to her own fate still believes that her sons can acheive greater things in their lives.
Lucy is a working mother whose four year old daughter Juno is recently comatose due to a car accident that was partly Lucy’s fault. She persuades her husband to give up his job to care for their daughter as she cannot take the guilt of knowing that it was her fault but soon discovers that she can no longer cope with working life.
Andrew is Lucy’s husband, and although he hasn’t voiced it, he has a feeling that his daughter’s current state is partly his wife’s doing, a suspicion that begins to eat away at his trust in his wife. For the moment, it seems that there is little hope of saving his marriage or his daughter.
I need as much help as I can get with these characters, so feedback is more than welcome…
Keep it Rio
It has taken me three years to work out that something is not right with the novel I am writing. I think the biggest hint was that I kept getting bored with it. Yes, that’s never a good sign. I can hardly expect anyone to enjoy reading it if I find writing it a chore. And so, after a thorough assessment of all I have written so far, I have narrowed it down to three problems: The characters aren’t believable enough, the setting isn’t thoroughly researched enough and the writing style is dull at best. In other words, this book is SHIT.
Aside from giving up and turning my handwritten pages into paper aeroplanes that I can throw at successful authors there is, as far as I can see, only one solution: a TOTAL MAKEOVER. Which is why apart from the plot [a boy from the slums of Rio de Janeiro discovers that he is a stigmatic, uses this to convince people that he has healing powers in order to get rich and becomes less and less morally sound in the process] and the title [The Redeemer] I am pretty much starting from scratch, using this blog to make sure I keep writing and to get comments on what I have written to ensure that my writing does improve…
Keep it Rio