I will be mostly writing on the commute to work in the morning and the evenings, I really need to nail down those 1700 words per day I need on these workdays. I have no idea when I will be able to write at the weekends, I may have to sacrifice Grand Theft Auto for a month!
So unlike all the cool cats who do midnight runs I started off this morning. I came up with some more naff chess names before settling down on actually writing a framework for the story. The whole thing came into my head last week when I changed my long term plans suddenly and it feels weird to have a beginning middle and an end.
The other matter to look at was the narrative perspective. Because of the nature of the story it really needs to be first person, but I haven’t really decided whether present tense or past tense is better. Present gives more tension, as a past tense generally signifies the main character makes it to the end, unless you throw a swerveball in and have lots of points of views. I’ve plumped for past tense though, it makes more sense with the ending. However, I need to make sure the tone of story isn’t too much like a dry autobiography.
On to the story. I really didn’t like my random attempt at a paragraph:
The imposing building my first steps in chess took place in i did not notice until a lot later in childhood. That first evening my father took me on the bus the thirty minutes or so until we got to the social club in town. It was a labour club that hosted the local chess nights and was a natural fit for my father. His political eshewed material gain, he kept his capitalist consumption on the board – his style grabbing material and blowing opponents off the board. My first night was petrifying. You get used to many weird and not so wonderful locations on the lower ranking chess circuit. This place was no different. The chess fraternity were shunned to damp, leaky rooms upstairs, badly soundproofed so you could hear the arguments, fights and drunken cheering down below. Chess players at xxx were no different. Chain smokers, over weight sweaty men with flakes of food and skin in their beards. A normal tactic when facing my seven year old self was regularly puffing in my face over the board, especially on my clock. I would cough politely hoping they would put it out, but this was an adavantage too great for these chess lifers to give up. My father was took busy thrashing the better players, ensuring the top team would get a good start on top board in competitions to notice. I am surprised i did not end up addicted to nicotine, a long with other things.
So I came up with the framework for the story. A journey from childhood prodigy, to down and out, to back again. Oh apart from la triche… Exclusive 1/6 of story summary right here:
Petyr Yushko – Born 1984 in Britain, a chess prodigy in his youth trained by his father, former Russian grandmaster Vladimir Yushko. He made his way from winning his local chess league, playing for the county and finally being recognised at the world junior championships in london at the age of 10. He came close to winning the world candidates championships at the age of 12, but missed out controversially after his father accused fellow child prodigy, the Russian Borislav Ivanovic of cheating at the tournament and made him forfeit his last game ( after losing badly to the Russian). Any signs of a rivalry ended when his father lost custody of him to his mother, and Petyr went off the rails completely, disowning his chess past and giving up the game.