Party Time! Project: Raven Novel Is 1 Week Old!

P:RN’s 1st week yielded its 1st rant and its 1st catch

Project: Raven Novel by Jim Latham. Creative blogging a short story into a novel, one post at a time. The Project: Raven Novel logo.
The Project: Raven Novel logo. Image from Unsplash, Edited by Author.

When his daughter Raven is kidnapped, Don Cuervo turns the Riviera Maya’s backpacker-chic town of Tulum upside down looking for her — and her captor.

My short story, Raven and the Mango Roadtrip, centers on Don Cuervo and his daughter, Raven, who move from Alaska, USA, to Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico, to run a dive shop and a backpacker hostel.

But they encounter more than empty tanks and drunk travelers.

That’s the premise of the short story, and enough of the friends and family who have read it told me that I should turn it into a novel.

I’ve never written a novel before, so I made a plan that broke the process down into a series of small steps to turn that dream into a reality.

One of those steps is Project: Raven Novel.

Project: Raven Novel turns 1 week old today!

Project: Raven Novel is a blog I’m writing in the voices of the characters from Raven and the Mango Roadtrip

Doing this will allow me to get to know the characters in my novel better.

Knowing my characters — understanding their fears, motivations, and goals —  will help me as I structure the novel’s plot to create as satisfying a story as possible.

Let me be clear:

I didn’t invent this type of creative blogging. As far as I know, Marilyn Flower did. She literally wrote the book on it: Creative Blogging

Blogging as your characters is a right-brain, subconscious mind process. It’s designed to get you into a free-flowing creative zone.

— Marilyn Flower, Creative Blogging

More about Project: Raven Novel and my take on creative blogging here:What is Project: Raven Novel?
Using creative blogging to turn a story into a novelmedium.com


A good catch

The process is already bearing fruit. While creating a post about the cast of characters, I learned I was misusing the Spanish honorific, Don.

I’d named one of my characters Don Hidalgo, but (per Wikipedia) no Spanish speaker would ever say “Don Hidalgo” because Hidalgo is a surname. 

For example:

  • Don Fulgencio (YES)
  • Don Fulgencio Hidalgo (YES)
  • Don Hidalgo (NO)

I didn’t know that when I wrote the story, so my characters were saying “Don Hidalgo” all the time, since Hidalgo is the novel’s villain. 

Now I know, and that mistake won’t make it into the novel. For more details about Don Fulgencio Hidalgo and the rest of the cast:The Cast of Raven’s Mango Roadtrip
Brief sketches of who’s whomedium.com


Don Fulgencio’s Rant

Speaking of the character formerly known as Don Hidalgo, he unleashed quite a tirade on Monday. 

Anyone who would kidnap a young woman in a foreign country is a true scumbag, but the depths of his depravity surprised me. (Marilyn warned me this might happen with creative blogging.) 

Prior to publishing Hidalgo’s rant, I added a content warning that read, in part:

This post was written by the villain of the novel that will result from Project: Raven Novel, Don Fulgencio Hidalgo de Saavedra, the unapologetic racist, colonialist oligarch who kidnaps Raven.

In this post, Don Fulgencio expresses some utterly vile opinions that I emphatically do not share. My intention with this post is not to offend or hurt anyone, but to develop a character that the reader will despise as much as I do.

Don Fulgencio’s Call to Crusade
The novel’s villain speaks his vile credomedium.com


Back to you, Don Cuervo

Though he’s had the enormous good fortune to live the life of his dreams, Don Cuervo is stuck in a rut. 

His body is in Tulum, but his mind is in the past.

Don Cuervo has some limiting beliefs he can’t quite shake. The good news is, he is starting to explore the mental habits that are holding him back.

First up, what he thinks about snakes:Grandad Said, “Snakes is Snakes”
Don Cuervo hates snakesmedium.com

Don Cuervo’s tech-savvy daughter, Raven, would probably say her dad needs an operating system update. 

He might not like hearing that, because she’s been spending a lot of time online recently, and it seems like something very not-good is going on.

It’s bad enough it’s affecting Raven’s behavior:What’s She Doing in There?
Raven’s not acting like herself, and Don Cuervo is worriedmedium.com


Let’s recap the review

  1. Raven and the Mango Roadtrip is a short story about a dad’s search for his kidnapped daughter.
  2. Project: Raven Novel is the creative blog turning the story into a novel. 
  3. The villain, Don Fulgencio Hidalgo, has been ranting.
  4. Don Cuervo is stuck in a rut and worried about Raven.

Turn in next week or follow Project: Raven Novel to stay up to date! 

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Read tons of my micro and flash fiction on Substack. I’m on Twitter and Insta.