Monday, January 28, 2013

Birth of a Novel: the starting point

© Uschi Hering |

This blog series following the creation of Duty from idea to print book is part of an experiment. Back in 2011, I had just finished my most recent short story and felt like writing one more. But I didn't have any clear ideas about how to begin. I just reached my 100th post on this blog, so I decided to host a contest. Duty: A Novel of Rhynan was born.

For the contest, I asked everyone for their best opening line suggestions. I received a generous crop with massive potential.  There were so many ideas and so little time.

The winner was this gem.

"The red one is mine," he said. - Abigail

I also used another submission in the first chapter of the rough draft. It was an entry from Katherine and appears in a slightly modified form in the final version of the book.

“She could feel the darkness like a living thing, growing ever stronger, pressing her more closely ever second that she lingered, waiting to hear her fate.” - Katherine

On November 10, 2011, the book’s journey officially began. By November 15, Duty had 1,700 words and two main characters. The main character’s first name was temporary, “Kayta,” and I had named the male lead Lord Ivraine (It was later changed to Lord Irvaine.)

The next post will cover how "Kayta's" name changed.

Question: Do you prefer reading novels or short stories?


Katherine Sophia said...

It is fun to see all the pieces of how this story came to be, even though I got to see a bit more as it happened as well. :D I like this idea for a blog series...

haha, and as a general rule, I'm a novel girl all the way. Short stories never feel finishedto me. There have been a very few that I loved exactly as they were and would not want to read more of...very few, though. :)

Rachel Rossano said...

I am working on getting my short stories to feel more finished. I can understand the feeling though.

Katherine Sophia said...

Haha, well, it depends how short short is. I was thinking like...O'Henry's stories. :) And if it's a short story about characters from a longer story, I actually generally like it - I already know who the characters are and what their longer story is, so it's just like an extra treat to catch a little longer glimpse of their world. :D