I’m beginning to feel the stirrings of my character. She’s gearing up to tell her story. Took her long enough, but I won’t complain too loudly…. don’t want her to hear me and get all huffy.
I’m writing a novel. It’s a big one and I’m writing it differently than I’ve written anything before. It’s not really the way one is supposed to write a novel, but, if you don’t mind the long pauses between writing stints, it’s rather fun. No deadline. No synopsis. No chapter outlines. No character development…well a little of that when I describe them to others.
I began with a character-driven story in mind and I went with it. It’s been fun. Tough, but fun. The story is kept fresh because I really can’t see too much further down the path my characters are following than they can.
Two parts. Part One is first person and is from Our Hero’s point of view. Part Two begins where Part One leaves off, but from Our Heroine’s point of view. Seems simple enough, but Our Heroine has taken all Summer and nearly all Fall to get her act together enough to recount her adventure. I tried to write without her, but it’s her story and I didn’t get too far.
But this morning, she’s awakening. I caught her opening one eye in the recesses of my mind and, before she could duck under the covers and feign sleep, I handed her a cup of coffee, which she accepted….begrudgingly…. flipping her blond curling locks from her eyes. Currently, she’s sipping sweetly and yawning softly.
I’m trying to be patient. I can’t hurry her or she’ll get surly on me. I just hope she begins right away, rather than opting for a long hot shower and a big eggy breakfast.
After the book is written, there will be tons to do. I’m just writing the bare bones and it will need considerable fleshing out. It will also need the eye of two readers (all lined up) who will make sure I’ve not missed anything or I’ve not explained everything adequately. I’m going to be relying heavily on these two gals.
But first, I need to get Rose awakened. (She’s just asked for another cup of coffee. A good sign.)
I’ve not been idle, mind you. I’ve another story I’m playing with.
A little back ground:
About six or seven years ago I took a home studies course on how to write a novel for young people. At the end of the home studies course, I had a story ready to submit to a publishing company, cover letter, etc. I’d even written the copy for the back cover.
On account of the course, this book was done properly. A synopsis. Plot outline. Fleshed out characters with back story. The works. As each chapter was written, I submitted it to my editor/teacher. She would comment and send it back for re-writes. I would fix said chapter and send it back, along with my next chapter. Back and forth. Back and forth until I was done.
Since you write what you know, I decided that my main character, Kate, was learning sword fighting skills because that’s what I was “into” back then. (AND who doesn’t love a story with an ancient, magical samurai sword in it, hmmmmm?)
Thus, about the same time I’d earned my black belt in Kashima Shin Ryu, my story was written and ready for publisher submission.
Alas, the project got shelved on account of some tough life transitions….. Until I came across a hard copy of the novel while rearranging storage items this summer. I dusted it off and, since so much time had passed, I was detached and objective when I re-read it. Happily, I still liked it. It still worked for me.
Since I don’t feel like submitting the book to a publishing house as I’m not in the mood for a steady stream of rejection letters, I’m going to publish it on Kindle.
You can do that, you know. There are lots of books on Kindle that have never seen the top of a major publishing house editor’s desk. Lots of good ones, too. I’ve been reading and exploring them. And they’re cheap….from around $1.99 to $2.99….so I can afford to read and explore a lot of them. Lot’s of YA books, the same genre as Kate’s story which is entitled “Walkers.”
It really is a fun story. Its about Kate, a senior in high school, who is living a typical senior-in-high-school-life when she’s thrown into a whole different set of events. Joey Sullivan is a 10-month-old baby Kate cares for on Wednesday nights. Turns out little Joey is a changeling child who was hidden on Earth so he could grow up safely in order to fulfill the prophesy of uniting his home planet, Ruis. But as these things go, Joey’s hiding place was discovered by the the bad guys from Ruis and Ash, a Walker-Between-Worlds, was sent to exchange Joey, returning the Sullivan’s real child before harm befalls Joey. Kate gets mixed up in it all when, thinking Ash is a bad guy, she runs away with Joey before Ash can do the baby exchange. It gets very exciting. There’s a REALLY bad guy named Straif who is a shape shifting assassin. He’s got his own Walker-Between-Worlds with which to track down Ash, Kate and Joey.
And then there’s that cool sword named Tinneholm. But you’re going to have to wait for the Kindle publication to find out where Tinneholm fits into the mix.
I’ve noticed that Kate-from-Walkers and Rose-from-current-project have something in common. They are both forced to come to terms and deal with these weird and wacky situations that have nothing to do with their day-to-day life. Talk about stepping out of your comfort zone! Try waking up and finding yourself in a hospital unit on a space station that’s orbiting a planet in the Cygnus star system. No wonder poor Rose is reluctant to get on with it!
As a writer, I relish that challenge of putting characters into these fantasy/science fiction-y situations and seeing how believable I can make it. And how are my characters going to manage to hold it together? In a similar situation, I’d freak out.
Remember when you first saw Star Wars? How the movie just opens and you’re in the midst of some futuristic battle upon a space ship? Remember how that felt?
That’s what I’m shooting for.
Come on, Rose, up and at ‘em!