So writing is a solitary thing. I mean, I bounce ideas off people, sometimes to the point of annoyance. But when it comes down to getting the words on the page, it’s me, in the writing nook, at my computer, cat sometimes at my feet, and writing. The words come from my head and make it on the page with no other interference…jaunts onto the internet and social media not withstanding.
But making the story publishable? That is decidedly collaborative. I have my betas first, to see if what is in my head actually made it onto the page. And then there’s the editors. These hardworking folk take my words and help me make them shine. They point out things that need clarification, and weird word choices I don’t pick up because my own speech pattern is decidedly strange (and a little made up). They point out the things that need to be removed or added for flow, for narrative, for world and relationship building. That’s their job, and they are good at it. (At least I’ve had the exceedingly good fortune to work with awesome editors over the past three years. I’ve learned a lot, and aside for the occasional clash in style (which is usually resolvable with a little conversation) it’s really been a great experience.)
As I said last week, edits interrupted my writing of Want. They took up the entire focus of my writer brain. And it was great to revisit these boys, to see them in a slightly different light, to work on making their story the best it can be. There were things I needed to tweak, stuff to remove, stuff to add in.
One of those things that I added was another character. A not much character. A mentioned twice and never seen or heard from character. I gave him a name I loved without much thought, a J name of course, because he was just a little something extra, something to flesh out the story a bit. I’d always imagined someone like him on the sidelines, but he never got fully formed in my mind until I dropped him in. Then I knew what he looked like, and had a little sense of his personality. But still, he was…well truth be told, he was nothing. He was guy on the page we would never see.
And then he started talking to me.
**Okay, let me say this first. I hear other writers say that their characters talk to them. I’ve heard yet others say that’s pretentious and bullshit, that the author is the craftsman, and they have full control, and to say your characters speak to you is pompous. Screw them, because everybody’s process is different. For me, when I can’t stop thinking of a character, when they invade my brain and I suddenly see things about their life and personality, I call that the character talking to me. Some are more vocal than others. Some are quite insistent on their names, while others I have to coax and prod until I find the right one. It’s how my brain works, and this is the language I choose to use to describe it. Sorry for the side bar rant.**
So this guy, he started talking to me. I was driving home from work the day after I dropped him in the MS. The first thing that came to me was the second place he should be mentioned in the story. And then…oh then he started telling me about how his life was about to change, where he was going to go, who he was going to meet, how hard and fast he was going to fall. My drive from work to home is twenty minutes. Tops. It was more like fifteen that day. And in that short amount of time, I saw all the things about this guy.
Point of the long winded post? I want to write this guy’s story. It would be a truly standalone spin off, unlike the Something Like series which is linked and, while they work on their own, work best when read in order. This would be something else, with cameos yes, but a completely independent story.
As would be the one that came after it. (And those guys have been in my head for a little bit now.)
So basically, while Want is fairly well entwined with the ones that have come before, these three, starting with His Needs, would be linked by world only, with maybe a few cameos.
I don’t know in which order I’ll write them, because I keep bouncing back and forth, but after Want, I have two more on the docket. And that feels really good.