April 17, 2009: Surf the Wave

I’m giving up all pretense that I control this story. The reality is, I’m just going along for the ride.

I don’t think that’s a bad thing, mind. Among other things, I can’t tip my hand in my prose, somehow, because I haven’t got a hand to tip. I can’t force the characters to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do, because I’m not trying to stick some pre-ordained plan.

I took an extremely abbreviated version of Barbara Samuel’s Voice class a couple of years ago, and the thing that became absolutely clear to me, even in an abbreviated version of the class, is that my first instinct is to write how it feels to be that person in that situation. Right now, I’m leaning heavily on that tendency, getting my characters into situations and then trying to get into their skins as they deal with whatever they’re facing. Because I have no plan — and I’m comfortable with that — I can let the characters shape the scenes, and those scenes shape the book.

At the moment, this feels like Ennevel’s and Kerlis’s book, not Ilsabet’s and Narthé’s. That wasn’t the original plan; the original plan was to have Ennevel and Kerlis as secondary, non-POV characters. My expectation today is that the balance between the four characters will be restored by the time I finish the first draft. And if not, that’s okay; it’ll be a book about Ennevel and Kerlis, with Ilsabet and Narthé as secondary characters.

That’s what I mean by “going along for the ride.”


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