I’m not sure I’ve ever loved a project this much, this early in the writing process.
Technically, Allie and me have been working on this book for several months. I think last fall or last winter I told her I wanted to do a twisted, wicked, version of Little Red Riding Hood, and we chatted about a few different ways that could be done.
And then, back in January, she sent me this amazing idea for Fairwoods Academy.
I may have squealed a little. Or a lot.
(We write under the name AJ Brooks – you can find that site here)
Since that time we’ve talked about:
– Which tense would suit the style of the story best.
– Whose POV should we be in? Which two? More? One?
– How does our world work?
– What’s the backstory of both the characters and the setting/world?
– What kind of twist do we want in book #1, #2, #3?
– What information comes out about each character in book #1, #2, #3…
– What information do we need right away? What can wait? What do we want to hold onto until the very end…?
– How many pretties will Allie send me before we’re done? (hopefully LOTS)
I have never done so much world building before, and not because I’ve never built a world this complicated (though, that may be part of it) but we both feel like this story is big. The idea is big. We want to do our characters justice. We want to do the story justice. And by doing this, I’ve fallen in love with the people. I ache for them over things I know we’re going to do to them in book #1, and in book #2, and in book #3… Because as authors, we create people we love, and then we torture them.
I guess I just wanted to share a new experience for me. I’ve gone from being a die-hard pantser, to someone who now writes pages and pages of character study, plot points and twists – even though I don’t always follow them. And not just in this project as AJ Brooks, but I’ve started this process for my next two solo projects as well.
Before I write more than a thousand words, I’ve ached with my character(s), I’ve been excited with them, I’ve let them take over my thoughts while I drive and run and bike and fold laundry…
This is something new I’ve tried, and I have to say I’m hooked.
What have you tried lately?
or what do you like to do before you start writing?