Thursday, July 07, 2011
my novel's journey: Discovery: What brought me to this moment
As I thought back to my struggles with Discovery, I realized that part of the reason I could write this book now is because I hadn't written it yet. I think perhaps I had not developed the skills I needed.
In particular, I am struck at the huge cast of characters Discovery has--eleven important characters. When I first wrote this as a NaNo story in 2008, I had only written one-character POV stories. I didn't know how to work a large cast. In the next years, I wrote DragonEye, PI stories, which were even more singular, as everything was told first-person by Vern. Then my computer crashed just as Kim Richards was asking me to write a Neeta Lyffe story, and I got the wild idea to write a reality TV show about killing zombies. While Neeta is the main character, I couldn't do reality TV without all the fun back-stabbling, behind the scenes dirt and audience reaction. Next thing I knew I was in multiple heads, jumping from one character to the next and having the time of my life. It was play, it was practice, and it was what I needed to learn in order to write the multiple person saga of Discovery.
I'm not sure I subscribe to the idea that the first million words an author writes is practice, but I am sure that, had it not been for the words I'd written before, I would not have been able to write the words I have now.