April 8, 2013 by bck1402
Where my writing exercises are concerned, this is the elephant in my room.
When I left my corporate job back in 2007, I finally committed to writing that novel all of us aspire to do when we get saddled with some free time (or is that old-fashioned thinking now?). Except that I didn’t really have an idea on what to write about or how to go about it.
Over the preceding years, I had done stories, mostly in comic form, around a particular character and her family. I grew up on comics, so it was a format of storytelling I fell into. When I say preceding years, it’s safe to say that I’ve been writing about this one character – and the extended family that grew out of it – since I was in primary four (that’s be about age 11). As the years went on, I grew up and so did the character. She had psychic abilities, so she was hunted and chased around for a while, then she took control of her life and fought back, but all sorts of people and organizations still hounded her for various reasons. Y’know, fodder for plots and all.
In all that, some family history was developed as well as the origin of her abilities being founded in genetic manipulation. It was just something to play around with – and with the rise of gene sciences at the time, it kinda made sense. There was also quite a bit of world building as I delved into the back-stories of several other characters. Then she had her own kids – fraternal twins, a boy and a girl. Because of the genetic manipulation done on her when she was younger, her kids had their own problems as well as inheriting varying degrees of psychic abilities. It became a genetic trait.
So when it came about to settle into doing the ‘novel’ I had to decide on an approach and a concept. I had done several attempts at having the daughter write a journal about her life and experiences. Started a few times, never got very far. And at the time, in 2007, blogging was getting quite rampant. And therein laid the delivery method. A reason to write at least every day to make sure something went up online. An experimental fictional journal that would depict life in a year as the main character of the story embarked on a new journey in her life.
And write I did, carrying on for a few years actually.
In one year, I wrote the first year of her life, and then carried on for another year because there was more to tell. Then came the freelance work and the ‘novel’ struggled to maintain it’s pace. It was over a year before the second part was finished. The third year of the story took just over three years because of the freelance work (some of which I’m sharing on this site) but mainly because… I didn’t want it to end.
In all honesty, there was a point within those last three years that Syndicessca did die, at least, in my mind. I knew how it was to end for her, but I really didn’t want that to happen. And if I ended the story, it ended her. But that was all in my head, right?
Anyway, writing that first year, I knew I had to do some world-building and really establish the character of Syndicessca Jeannie (she has a surname, but it’s been left out within the context of the story), as well as the format. And there was the problem of the history to consider. How was I going to do this and just ignore everything that had come before?
The setting was important enough, that it was new. Everything she would experience was new, as would be a majority of the characters around her. But her own history had to impact somehow. Things hinted at, but never explained. I kept thinking about other novels I’d read and movies I’d seen. How much of a character’s history was really needed within the context of the story itself.
Ultimately… frell it all and just write. She was telling the story, it was down to her to share when the need arose. I just hoped that she (and by default, I) would be a credible storyteller and narrator. In any case, after several rounds of editing, reading through and slimming things a touch from the original blogged version, you can check out the revised first part of the first year. Feedback / criticism / opinion is welcomed.
<link removed due to being loaded with errors still, (Feb, 2014)>
And this chronicle is, of course, to be continued…