I have been talking about it, hinting at it, imagining it, plotting it and writing it, and I think it’s time I told you a bit more about my NaNoWriMo 2014 project.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, last year’s project The Bravery of the Soldier was Sherlock fanfiction. I got so many positive reviews on Bravery, for both subject matter and writing style, that someone commented that they’d love to see me tackle the background and upbringing of the other main characters. Bravery focused on John Watson’s military career, so I figured the next logical subject would be Sherlock Holmes himself.
So yes, my NaNoWriMo 2014 project is once again Sherlock fanfiction. This is going to be a sore subject with my family as once again I am writing something I cannot make profit from. However, to me, writing is therapeutic. I write for writing’s sake. Mum bakes her own bread (sometimes) but I don’t see her opening a bakery. So why am I expected to make money off my hobby?
Anyway. I really liked the idea of looking at the different characters and what made them the people they are today. And so the idea for a series was born, tentatively entitled Before Baker Street.
Book 2, my current project, is called Pomp & Circumstances. At least that’s is the working title.
It explores Sherlock Holmes’ entitled upbringing and how he was treated by his peers. I’m hoping to give a glimpse into the psyche of a brilliant young man (and at this point I’m wondering whether I should have studied psychology instead of journalism) and explain how he went from being a young boy,who loved nothing more than his dog, to a self-proclaimed high-functioning sociopath with a drug addiction and no social skills whatsoever.
Something must have happened to him. And I’m trying to work out, what that something was. After all the pomp and glamour that surrounded his upbringing, what were the circumstances that really shaped him?
Here’s my (temporary) synopsis:
A case brings Sherlock Holmes back to his old boarding school. As the case unravels, John and DI Lestrade learn more about Sherlock’s upbringing and what life at boarding school and university was like for the genius detective.
Sherlock seems to take snide remarks in his stride, just like he is never shy to dish them out himself, unfiltered. His friends find out what he had to go through, and why the genius turned to drugs.
Young, bullied, estranged from his family and craving drugs, a life-saving offer made to the rough sleeping genius turned out to be just the incentive that Sherlock needed to become the man he is.
Just like with Bravery of the Soldier, I doubt this will be an entirely comfortable read for some. Bravery dealt with trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and coping mechanisms as well as war-related violence.
Pomp & Circumstances is shaping up to include bullying, drug use, verbal abuse,and homelessness.
Bravery was written before the third season aired earlier this year. That means I didn’t have all the facts we do have now, so at a certain point, my story became “canon-divergent.” I made Sherlock and Mycroft the sons of a baron, complete with posh public school education, a Holmes manor and horses.
In order for Pomp & Circumstances to fit into the slightly altered universe I created for Bravery, I will keep these details and expand on them.
As of today, I have about 22,000 words written down, although I can already see that it’ll need a lot of editing once I’ve reached 50k.