Although I’m not doing NaNo, this post is rather appropriate since I wrote the first draft of When the Clock Broke’s second book during CampNaNo this year. I felt in the mood for sharing a few titbits about the characters and the actors who have currently caught my eye, as if this post were another Next Big Thing.
In addition, it contains one of my favourite opening sequences for in media res beginnings, a skill at which I’m not superb:
Physics was confusing enough without adding a fifth dimension that Zara didn’t even believe in.
She slammed down the wall lever, eyes flitting over to the volt-barometer fitted beside the double-barred handgrip. A stripe of red zoomed past, and the hiss of the engine droned out. The experiment was over – and her lab-partner had already returned from the engine’s depths.
“84 MPH. Not bad,” Mairim read from the chart. She picked at the scarlet velvet of her knee-length dress. Zara blinked; she herself hadn’t even lifted her eyes to the vertical lines of numbers yet. Mairim had clipped back her dappled hair – as was expected of them – and the ends lapped short of her crimpled dress-shoulders. Zara suspected she herself looked scruffy in comparison. More than once, she had tripped over the long hems of her trousers; but it had been her choice in dressing that way.
“Not high enough,” Zara replied. “Professor Leigh said we need over 90 for a pass. Don’t forget that clause.”
“Don’t worry,” Mairim added. “You have only been here for a year.”
“That’s exactly why I should be achieving. Next time, let me be the one to operate the time-manipulator.”
Mairim wrinkled her nose. “You’re hardly strong enough to hold the driver steady against the second pulse – stop complaining, when, in a different world, we might not even be able to measure the output. Be grateful it works.”
“I am,” Zara grumbled.
She frowned and followed her lab-partner away from the volt-barometer. Already the disguised insult had set her mind into full flow. After all, Zara had held onto the idea ever since she had first laid eyes on her Main Project for the year.
“But if we didn’t need a phenomic driver, I could handle it. Think of how much quicker the manipulator would run.”
Mairim’s face went through three different flinches as each word took her off-guard. “Woaho! Keep it simple, Zara. This is Temporal 101, not Mechanics 305.”
Now for the main actors, in order of character appearance.
Of course, I’ll be sticking with Lucy Hale as Zara, though, this time, she is the Main Character. By 2056, Zara is at the end of her first year of a Physics Education. She wants to excel in her interest in time-travel, but, due to her lower-middle-class routes, she hits more than a few bumps. She has oppressors both within her family and without – and even through the time-streams.
Dakota Fanning (but with her posh British accent like in the film Now is Good and brown-blonde hair) as Mairim, Zara’s snobbish lab-partner. For DMWT, she only appears in two scenes, but she is, effectively, the catalyst for the incident point of the book, as she spurs on Zara’s determination to prove herself as good as the upper-class.
As Alec Legge in Poirot: “I’d like to see every feeble minded person put out. Don’t let them breed.”
Daniel Weyman (but with black hair) as Freidrich Costello. The last in the ‘official’ Costello line, that is, those who inherit the Mansion and the prestige following the name in public. Although more interested in work than love, Freidrich agreed to an arranged marriage like his parents; he is obliged to, anyway, since he is the only male in three offspring. However, Freidrich’s arrangement was somewhat unusual, in that he met a distant cousin of his mother’s, Gabiee, at his sister’s first wedding, and they themselves agreed to become engaged, rather than having been thrown at each other. Freidrich had not yet advertised his Selection, though he had told his father of his plans. In the end, Freidrich and Gabiee continue the line by four children, two boys and two girls, all named after classical literature.
Freidrich is like his grandfather, Dr. Costello, in many ways. Whilst Dr. Costello’s interest in biology was optics and treatment, Freidrich’s is in genetics and destruction. He likes being a high-class Costello, but hates the fact that his uncle Phillip married the odd-looking daughter of a Physics worker.
At the time of Zara’s disappearance, Freidrich is in his late forties and going grey. He and his new wife feature a lot more in the [plan of the] final book.
…like that, but blonde.
Zoey. Still not sure about this one, as each actress I have in my head carries a component of Zoey’s personality, but not its entirety, be it age, appearance or style. It doesn’t help that Zoey, like Zara, could have an American accent, though she doesn’t in the books.
For now, I’ve gone for Gemma Arterton, but with blonde hair. She’d have to dye it well, but I think that would work, since, although natural, Zoey’s hair is so light it’s almost bleach blonde.
Lily James is another close candidate, but she’s a little too girly for my liking…
Back to the bio… Zara’s instant dislike of Zoey often peppers her judgement of her actions, but is she correct in thinking that Zoey has a secret plan of her own? A gifted temporal scientist, Zoey was, however, denied the chance Zara got to enter the Physics Institute because she was born to unmarried servant parents. But it’s not revenge she exacts in her personal study.
Freddie Highmore as Maximillian Folster, a middle-class mechanic from Phillip’s generation. Although I originally envisioned the character to be Zara’s support throughout the novel, Max took his personality into his own hands and became more of jerk, mocking her more than once. In fact, in the final book, Max’s takes their ruse of master and servant further than Zara would have liked. Max has a secret crush on Zoey and she uses this to manipulate him.
Gary Carr as Linacre George. He was last seen playing Jack Ross in Downton Abbey (so no surprise about my choice there ;)), and he’d have to drop the American accent, but it’s difficult to find young black actors, since a lot are stereotyped. Linacre is an upper-class of Dr. Costello’s generation, but he worries about losing his land and name, since a similar prejudice presides over coloured people in this world.
Wowed over by his “melted chocolate” looks, Zara’s attraction to Linacre ultimately leads to a romance between them. However, what Zara’s head and what her heart wants are two different desires, and the relationship explodes out.
Want to know more? The tag ‘WTCB…’ encompasses all my chat about my bigger fiction trilogy, including other little pieces from the second book – found under the ‘DMWT’ tag, too. In addition, sections of my worldbuilding WIP, The Continental Almanac, are on the blog.