**** In honor of my week long book blowout, I am bringing you the first of my posts wherein I discuss the actual process of writing the novels which are now free on kindle.
One night I dreamt that in order to protect my sister, I married a man whom neither of us could stand. Now, I'll be honest, I was probably watching too many Masterpiece Theater presentations at the time, but I liked the idea. At the time, I was still writing The Gates of Nottingham, so I knew I could not develop the idea too far. I mapped out a few chararacters - the three sisters and their prospectives suitors and left it at that.
When I was finished with Nottingham, I wanted to take a break from the anxiety and violence ridden writing I had been doing. I had been accused of being a man in the guise of a woman by so many early readers of Nottingham that I figured I might try to explore my softer side a little. I came back to the early notes I had written about my dream and started plotting.
The first idea for the novel was a multi-generational story told through an omniscent narrator. When I realized it was getting too heavy, I decided to cut it into a trilogy. I have wanted to do a trilogy for a while now, but I can't seem to focus and this was no exception.
I picked a favorite sister and worked on her story. The narrative style changed a couple of times, as did the starting point. I threw out eighty pages before I had an opening that worked. The first person narration was born and from there, every event was filtered through the eyes of Jane, the heroine. Though I may never go back to first person narration, it taught me a great deal about perspective and the many different lenses that can be put on one event.
I wrote in sequence, never deviating from the order of the story, which is not something I have done before or since. It was one character's story, she does a great deal of learning and growin throughout it, and I knew that I would ruin the nuance of it if I did not keep it in sequence. It was a bit of struggle because I often want the instant gratification of writing a scene as soon as it appears in my head.
All in all, So Many Secrets did not give me nearly the amount of trouble Nottingham did. I already had one novel under my belt, and it was a huge help. I still cut 120 pages out of the final draft, honing in on the most important sccenes only, but after the circus that was the Nottingham edits, this seemed minor.
Maybe on the next novel, I can aim to lose less than 100 pages.