For years, I’ve been a fan of the Y/A fantasy world.
Or, worlds, I should say.
I consumed them almost as quickly as they did me, and each one I started only filled me more with a need to create my own.
For the last few years, I’ve produced and filtered through small instances of fantastical inspiration, hand picking a few beginnings, and being too afraid to lead them into their middles and ends.
The very first one I produced, was Kitt.
When I was little, and still every once and a while, my mother and my grandmother would fill my summer days with the movie, A League of Their Own.
Each time they played it, my eyes were glued to the screen, always watching one character: Kit Keller.
I always wished I was her. She seemed smart and funny and cool. She was nice, but not in a way that she let anybody push her around. She was brave, but terrified all of the time.
She had the strength I wanted to have. The assurance in her self, and the power she found in her vulnerability.
I wanted to grow up and be just like her.
So I decided I would. I idealized who I would be when I was older. The adventures I would go on, and the people I would meet.
Eventually, my Kitt had taken on three major differences: 1) She looked and walked and talked just like me, but braver. 2) She lived in a world I didn’t know the name of quite yet. That I still don’t know that name of, to be quite honest. And, 3) I added and extra t and the end, because I felt the name deserved it.
When she took her (mostly) full form, I started to place her in all my daydream scenarios.
I got bored in 6th grade math and thought of Kitt running through the forest, chasing after the man who killed the King.
I was distracted from my PSAT in 8th grade because I wondered what kind of school Kitt would have gone to, if she even had to go to school, how old she was, where she lived, what her family was like.
Eventually, I was spending more and more of my time wondering about the life of this doppelgänger of mine. The better, stronger version of Kate.
It became a comping mechanism, to put myself in this weird ass, imaginary, self-insert fantasy world.
When I started high school, I realized how embarrassing it was and stopped thinking about her. Threw all of the notebooks away, forgot the name Kitt, forgot the world she lived in.
I erased it completely.
What. An. Idiot.
I had spent years and years crafting this thing to the point where Kitt felt like a long-lost, living and breathing, best friend.
And in some weird ways, she kind of was.
She was who I had always wanted to be, and I asked her questions a lot. More like, I asked question about her a lot, to myself, like a self-guided therapy session.
When I graduated and booted the blog back up, I knew I wanted to start another series. That I wanted to post at least two times a week, and to do that, I needed more than just Jukebox.
So from the deepest parts of my memory, I pulled out Kitt.
But in a different way.
I placed her back in her world, with the friends and family I’d imagined her with before.
But I wanted to pay homage to the little girl I was. The one who needed Kitt, the one who relied on her, and wrote about/to her every day.
Thus Katherine was born, as a clear shadow of me.
I went back and forth on the whole Kate/Katherine thing. I knew it would be obvious, putting either. But putting my name would feel outright embarrassing. Katherine gave me a gap, and thus, became a character of her own.
I’ve been telling her story, lately, with no real plan or explanation. Writing what I feel I want to the most, letting my words lead her blindly.
But I’m not a complete and total idiot. I have the shambles of a plot outline tucked away in my drafts.
I have a beginning, I have a middle, and I think I may even have some sort of end.
But, obviously, I can’t share that all with you yet.
Do you take me for a fool?
(It would be a fair thing, if you did.)
What I can share, is the basic premise of the series, which I just realized I never even established.
Katherine is a recent high-school graduate who is taking a gap year to write the book she always wished she could, but never had the time to. Only problem is, she doesn’t know exactly what that book is about. That is, until she thinks of Kitt. (Sound familiar, huh?) While writing the struggles of Kitt, she recognizes and battles with her own, fighting for her craft of creation and dreaming of the day that she can see her books on display at Barnes & Noble.
Kitt is a girl much like Katherine in age and in feature, but far from any other reality. She grew up on an island where her magic was allowed to run and dance freely, among family and friends who embraced life in the same way. One night, her island is attacked, by what or who, no one knows. Orphaned, relocated, and with only her sister and close family friends to rely on, Kitt must sort through the details of that long-ago night, and fight her way back to her beloved home, without knowing the name, look, or numbers of her enemy.
Side by side, the stories of the two young women intertwine, tangling them both together in the messiest way possible, owing to each other the worst moments of their lives, but needing one another in order to survive.
I don’t know much about how the story is going to be completed. It won’t be without it failures and it’s mistakes.
But it’s a story I want to write anyways.
I hope it can become one that, despite the failures, and the flaws, and the devil and demons among the details, you will want to read anyways.
I Become Kitt, Chapter 7: After Dark