Recital. So, I’ve researched. I’ve sketched. I’ve blocked. I know who is who, what is what, and I’ve got a fair understanding of most of the why and I have a spreadsheet the size of Manhattan showing about 80% of the when. Which means, after two false starts and a lot of other stuff in between, finally I feel that I can sit down and write my ‘real’ first draft.
This isn’t how it all started. It started when I sat down to write Recital and got to about ten thousand words before I realised there was no way I had enough structure to keep going. Too many unanswered questions and confusing dead ends, and unlike other ideas I’ve had for books which I could probably rattle off without a scrap of evidence to the contrary, this book just wasn’t feeling like that.
So I started again, and threw down about twenty thousand words before realising that I just didn’t have a firm grasp on the world that my leading lady inhabited. This is some pretty specific stuff I’m writing about and although it’s fine to make up the events surrounding other people’s worlds, you can’t go about re-creating a world that already exists. I needed to research.
Research changed everything. It changed the plot, the direction, even the theme. Research became, as I’m sure many other authors would understand, more akin to archaeology; digging up hidden gems that were there all along, just waiting to be part of a story. Rather than simply fleshing out an existing yarn, each discovery made me re-evaluate what had gone before as I unearthed clues I could easily have missed. It turns out that a simple process of fact-finding can help uncover the true fiction and the most compelling ideas lie beneath the surface where the real and the unreal meet.
I’m done with exploring Recital. Time to dust myself off and show you what I’ve discovered, one word at a time.