Good day. I’m Chris, the skinnier but more agile Duelist, and I’m here to talk to you about my novel – the story that will be my ally and my weapon in this year-long writing Duel against my friend (and now mortal enemy) Robert Smedley. My opponent has put forth his novel to you (and an awesome, steam-powered adventure it sounds too!) so it is time for me to outline my own offering.

The novel is titled Stairjumpers’ – a title that (like Rob’s) may very well change as the story develops. I haven’t quite fallen in love with it yet. I really like the way it sounds, but I am unsure on how it looks. Some words look better than others, and the aesthetics of a title are, in my opinion, as important as what it says.

Anyway, before I lose myself (and you) further down this tangent, my story begins thus:

“The room is dark and silent, and out of nowhere my brother tells me that he can fly.”

I hope (given my recent article) that this has you sufficiently intrigued! I’m not really one to give to many details of my stories away before it is finished, but I felt I should share my first line with you all, especially after Rob did the same. Besides, this Duel (and this blog documenting the fighting and the writing) is all about the stories, and about generating an interest and a following, so I’m going to have to share more than I would normally.

‘Stairjumpers’ is the story of two young brothers, Ollie and Sam. Ollie is growing up fast, his teenage years are upon him, and as the only male role model in the family, he is a huge influence on his younger brother. A pretty bad influence, as it turns out. What follows is a children’s fantasy/horror story involving boyishness, bullying, flight, domestic violence, guilt, and a Project Mayhem-esque group of adolescent anarchists. Oh, and an alternative Universe inside a coma.

Other than that, I haven’t really planned how things will happen and come together, if I’m honest. Which sounds a lot like Rob’s approach to this, which is comforting. Although knowing Rob, I’m guessing he has more of an idea what will happen in his story than I am. This is also natural given that his story is a mystery/crime novel (in part), so it will be much more plotted than my story. Plus I have no idea how my story will end. But therein lies a lot of the fun, I think. I am planning on writing in at least two viewpoints, which should be interesting, and the story is currently written in present tense. I haven’t settled on this; the story will soon let me know whether this is right or not, so don’t be surprised if it changes. Take nothing for granted, as this Duel is sure to throw a lot of surprises into the air!

I am really looking forward to writing this story, and I hope you are all as excited as I am to find out what happens!