To begin with, I grew up a fan of Charles Dickens, and one of the things he is well known for is how he wrote many of his novels, sharing them via his papers one chapter at a time; many times while still creating them. So to start, I wondered if I could do the same thing. That was the basis right there for my challenge.
Using an old screenplay I wrote years and years ago as the starting point, I first created 25 chapter titles. Those chapter titles now are the only direction I really have in the writing. See, the book is nothing like the screenplay, only a few scant remnants remain. (I can’t even remember the last time I have even opened up the screenplay file!) If having to guess, I would say only two plotlines remain, and only that many of the original characters are still like their former selves. Everything else is so sparkly new, and many times when I start a chapter, I have no idea where the characters are going to take me next. Thrilling and terrifying.
When I started it felt so wonderfully easy, with the first chapter oddly being the shortest one in the book. It was a lie! When the third chapter reached over 25 pages I realized I might be in a little bit of trouble. I wasn’t drowning, but I was enjoying the deep end of the pool a little too much, let me say that.
To help you, the readers, feel part of the process, I’ve also been creating occasional editorial updates on the experience. I like to think of them as fun little glimpses into the mind of a writer at work. They are full of contradictions, conflicting goals, and seem to carry through them the one underlining thought, “I don’t know what I am doing or where I am going, but this is strangely fun.”
And it has been a fun experience for me.
In 2013 I will be creating the last three chapters (plus one very short epilogue) for the novel. With the end so close I thought this might be a good time for readers to consider catching up or maybe starting for the first time. You can find all of the chapters here. I hope you will consider checking it out. Below, is a brief introduction to the book and the characters in it: Continue reading