LIAN TANNER

No two books are written the same way

February 6th, 2016

You’d think I’d have learned this by now, after seven novels and two completed trilogies. But I still struggle with it every time. I can’t help looking for those sensible rules that will lay the process out step by step, so that all I have to do is fill in the boxes.

Except that would be really boring after the first couple of books, and the result would be boring too, so I guess it’s just as well things are the way they are.

I’m not saying everything’s completely different with each book. There are certain parts that stay reliably the same – the self-doubt is one of them. 🙂

This current book, which aims to be the first in the Bodyguards series, is refusing to be written in sequence. I’m not sure why, but every time I try to do it in sensible steps, from one scene to the next, the whole thing gets stuck. So now I’m just plucking scenes out of mid-air and writing them, and that seems to be working fairly well.

At some point I’m going to have to put them together, of course, not to mention filling in the holes and fixing all the contradictions that are building up. But for now it’s keeping me happy and the word count is growing apace. And as long as I keep calling it a pre-natal or experimental draft I don’t have to worry about the fact that it’s an awful mess.

I think most of it is to do with finding the story. I mean, I do start with a story in my head, and a fairly detailed plot. But it’s not necessarily the right story or the right plot. Because this is the first book with these characters and this setting, I’m discovering things as I write, and the things I discover next week will affect the things I wrote last week. There’s already a completely new character, Arms-mistress Krieg, who I wasn’t expecting at all but who is turning out to be rather important.

And one of the characters from The Keepers also seems to want to play a major part in the story. 🙂

So, what I’m really trying to say is, I have no idea what I’m doing from one day to the next, but it’s fun so I’ll keep doing it for now.

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