Further realisations…

(x-posted from the LJ. Originally posted 01-21-06.)

So. I’ve been back to working on Stronger recently. This actually happened about four or five days after I made my prior entry regarding writing, but I’ve been busy and haven’t gotten around to it. But… it’s another, very large piece of the puzzle.

While working on one of the subplots, I realised I needed to reference old notes, because I couldn’t quite remember what I’d originally planned. Except that said notes weren’t notes; they were part of an IM transcript from January 2003. Probably a couple weeks after I’d finished Stronger, if I’m not mistaken.

Anyway. They were, unsurprisingly, conversations with Robert about Stronger, the world setting, later books, etcetera. This time, though, I noticed something I hadn’t.

Usually when I brainstorm with people, they either tell me what I’ve got already is good, or make suggestions to improve it.

Robert didn’t. Robert leapt into the story like he was part of the writing. Snippet from the logs:

Nonny says:
How would you feel about being a main or secondary character in a novel? With him as mage? *grins*
Robert says:
ANd he has the same realistic attitude to his world that I did to mine where I knew how it worked.
Robert says:
Ooh neat neat neat! You mean a few years later when he grows up and is teen magician?
Nonny says:
Yep.
Robert says:
And gets a girlfriend?
Nonny says:
Later on in the series.
Robert says:
Ooh purr!
Nonny says:
No, love, I was going to keep him single forever. /sarcasm
Robert says:
I could see his answer to ‘don’t cross kreshida and kreshida’ being as simple as a vasectomy if he’s in love with her.
Nonny says:
Oh yeah–WOW.
Nonny says:
Didn’t think of that.
Nonny says:
Didn’t think he’d get a lady kreshida
Robert says:
She could be human or kreshida, but if she’s kreshida and that happens he’d get a vasectomy, not rely on condoms. They fail.
Robert says:
and another Queen would make the kreshida world that rough.
Nonny says:
Yep–oooooh that could almost be worth doing, though.
Robert says:
The healed kreshida magicians would still have a Dark Court and Cassandra still lead it.
Robert says:
Yeah. I don’t know what your concept is but it’ll be fun!
Robert says:
Gods.
Robert says:
Nonny, the parent that’s kreshida — is that another Abomination?
Robert says:
Which is kreshida? His mother or his father?
Robert says:
If it’s both they hid him.

I’d never finished a full-length novel until I joined FM and brainstormed with Robert and others. The farthest I ever got before stalling out was about 30k. I wrote Sanctuary, Mercenary, Bridge of Faith, and Stronger all with that kind brainstorming.

So, what happened when it was gone? When I didn’t have anybody telling me what to do?

… Yeah.

It’s not that there was anything wrong with the brainstorming in and of itself. As much as I’m loathe to admit it, I probably owe him an apology, as I’ve accused him of sabotaging my writing (although I don’t believe deliberately) in the past.

*sighs*

I wish I’d been able to figure this out before. It would’ve saved me years of head-pounding and heartache. But, I’ve made a lot of progress in a lot of ways since making these realisations. I don’t think I’m out of the woods yet, not by any stretch of the imagination… but I think I’m further along than I was before.

Have the courage and be yourself,
Forget your heros, believe in yourself
Find the right way that leads you to the end,
The end of this control
Until your soul is free….right now!

— “Believe In Yourself” / Girls Under Glass

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