I thought it might be interesting to track how I write. So I’m going to cover the creation of this new project which I’ve given the working title of Miranda’s Story.
It started when I was recently watching some cool sci-fi at OpenFilm.com called Wormtooth Nation. I had a flash for a story and had to actually pause the video and start writing. This is how it works a lot of the time. I get a flash of inspiration from something and MUST write immediately.
That flash was enough to give me the impetus to write out the entire outline of the story in a matter of minutes. This was a broad stroke treatment basically of the general ideas I wanted to cover in the story and the skeleton of the story itself.
It came out to be four pages handwritten in my pocket notebook. A tentative title emerged also: The Journey of Why. But I’ve shelved that title for now. I did also layout several main themes of the story but I don’t want to share them with you at present, just because it might ruin or influence how you perceive the story if/when you read it later.
I’m not sure if it was later that night or early the next day when I set out to venture into that world again but it resulted in another seven pages. This time of actual scenes that will make the final cut.
I say venture into the world because that is how it works when I write. It’s like my mind projects itself into another world or the main character. In my head it’s like someone put in a DVD of a film I already know but haven’t seen in a long time. I don’t know the exact scenes anymore but I know the plot. The really cool thing about this is that once the stuff starts to come into focus I can view it in my head like a DVD complete with play, pause, fast forward and rewind. You want to know how the book ends? Well I could fast forward in my mind to the end of it and tell you. In the early stages of writing a project I’m not exactly sure how it will end though. That’s the case with this story in fact. I do know where Miranda will be in the late stages of the story but I don’t know exactly what will happen. Generally when I write the end of the story has multiple possibilities and I’m forced to decide which to use for the proper effect. That was the same with The Wifecycle as well. When I got to the end I had to decide what I wanted to say and so I chose one of my five or six possible endings.
With Miranda’s Story, none of the characters had names in the beginning. I just started writing. I hadn’t even seen the main character. It was around the third day of writing that it became clear that the main character was a girl of about 12-years-old. I was writing a scene between her and her mother and the first name that came to mind for her was Miranda. Probably because of Miranda Kay Levy who asks a lot of questions, generally at random when we’re on Skype. The Miranda in the story is loosely inspired by the real Miranda and the fictional one’s favorite question turns out to be Why which is where the other title came from.
In another conversation with the real Miranda (12 Feb 2009) I found the name of what may be the main antagonist in the story, Guggenheim. She, the real Miranda, was talking about how she’d like to have her art in the Guggenheim museum and the name struck me as really cool for a person…thus Guggenheim came into focus. The next day (13 Feb 2009), I wrote his first appearance in the story.
Today (16 Feb 2009) another character’s name has revealed itself. One of the others in Administration, a boy of about 14-years-old is named Daniel. He’s got ‘a big, toothy, genuine grin.’ That’s what made me think to start writing ABOUT the writing.
Just now I thought of how to tie together The Journey of Why and still use Miranda.
“It’s Myranda…with a Y.”
“Wow, that’s appropriate.”
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