Before I embarked on a writing career, I had preconceptions of what writing a novel would be like. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that my preconceptions were nothing more than mere delusions.
When I sat down to begin my first novel, I foolishly had definite ideas of how my story would progress from start to finish, what characteristics my main characters would possess, and how they would interact with one another. Nothing prepared me for the realization of the idiotic misconceptions I harbored.
My characters completely overtook my story, and steered me in the direction they wanted me to follow. They came “alive” and became individuals in their own right, complete with personalities they fomented with no help from me. They developed their own scenarios, their own manner of interactions, and their own conclusions to those scenarios. In essence they became living, breathing entities residing in my mind and in my computer.
They occupied my brain and decided to stubbornly root there until I finished my novel. The trouble was, during the entire duration of their inhabitance, they had no concept of night or day, when to sit in the background and be silent, or when I needed time for myself. Scenes, dialog, story lines would spring forth at the most inopportune times taking the forefront. They even went so far as to demand changes. At times it felt like I had multiple personality disorder. And forget about sleep – my mind never rested. Dialog and story lines whirled around inside my brain demanding that I make note of them immediately, even if I was sound asleep.
When I finally finished my novel and it was submitted for publication, I thought that would be the end of it. Then the editing process began, and it started all over again.
It has been an eye-opening adventure to say the least, but one that incites me to repeat it many times over. An experience that I liken to a roller coaster ride – frightening, stimulating, titillating, exhilarating, and almost orgasmic. An intoxicating, prolonged adrenaline rush that propelled me over the apex of ignorance into the exciting world of writing. It has been the ride of a lifetime. One I hope never ends.