Monday, July 21, 2014

Caffeine, Chocolate & The Pain of Novel Creation



 
 
I have entered the evolutionary state of creating a new novel.   My personal big bang.   I have polished my copy of Bard Maiden of Rhulon.  Now I am moving on to Blood of the Unicorn.  That involves a lot of work and the painstaking new mind set.  It is not just a simple template of a new novel with new characters that I build a book on.  A fresh novel takes a mental adjustment  New characters with fresh and often painful or wicked histories, different worlds (I am addicted to doing tales in a secondary world), new landscapes and kingdoms.  There is a bonding process when its all new that is often tricky.  It's odd at first.  You are working with strangers, essentially.  You make notes and character profiles, but they are not developed in your mind yet.  That comes with the writing.  For me, the characters tend to evolve as I write, which brings a number of changes to the characters and story even as I go.  No matter how much preparation I do, things change.  It is mentally painful and fun at the same time.  I go through the process of thinking of names and titles, do character profiles, etc. 
 
 
 
But when I begin to type-the story or characters change in various ways.  They morph.  My thought process shifts.  Often this has been good.  I have created some great characters that way-ones I never even considered.  They sort of jump at you in a your literary mind  with the stubborn tenacity of a bulldog.  Darcus from Gate of Souls was like that.  Unexpected.  Determined to stick around.  He was initially going to be a one shot character to get my main characters from location A to location B, and probably die in the process.  But when Darcus and Cathal began to verbally spar in that first scene, Darcus became a permanent character in the tale.
 
So I face these challenges-the first 3 chapter easy flow, the barrier of panic, the battle to move beyond chapter 3, drinking too much coffee or tea, snacking on chocolate chip cookies as I compose more changes, spellchecking, forging ahead, buying more aspirin for the headaches of creation, getting stuck around chapters 8-10 before the dam breaks and I become a manic writing machine.  It's my process.
 
Such is the life of a writer.  Do not envy us.  We suffer.  We are cranky.  We are doomed. 
 
More later.  Until then, read more fantasy!
 
Verna McKinnon
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
            
 
 

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