November 18, 2014
The first chapter I wrote I dreamed about. In my dream this young, attactive woman, a teacher, goes to sleep in her mountain cabin in early February and she has an experience that at first looks like an OBE or Out of Body Experience, but turns out to be a spontaneous teleportation to another dimension. It’s not a parallel dimension, but it does occupy the same space as earth, just a different place.
The main character, Skylar Winter, tells her story in first person and takes us through the sensations she is aware of and the realization that her feet are not on the ground, she’s not in her bed, and she’ a little dizzy. She finds a way out of the dark to a beautiful expanse of meadow and trees, colors so brilliant they do not compare to what we see ourselves here in our world. She is lighter and glides over the floor of a balcony instead of walks and then is jarred by hearing the voice of a young girl calling her Avria.
I liked the visual picture I was creating, but after reading it decided it was not right for the first chapter. I needed to get the readers excited and curious about what was going to happen in this story, after all, it was not going to be all flowers and butterflies. So I chucked that chapter and wrote another. This time she transports spontaneously to a very dark and dangerous, morbid place in the other dimension, which is called Mohrkhavn. She finds herself outside of an ancient, grey castle and someone is in danger there. She, herself, is nearly captured by men, if they are men, who have some distinctive features.
This was a much better opening chapter. It is juxtaposed with the next chapter that introduces us to the antagoinst, Ryan Eddington. I always enjoyed reading Dean Koontz and began looking at different styles and formulas he might be using in telling his stories. One of them was to get the reader to travel back and forth between different events happening to different characters in the book. I decided to try that myself. I’m happy with how well that worked for me.
I began visualizing what Skye Winter would look like. She needed to be vulnerable and have some flaws. I would tackle the antagonist next with the hope I would figure out what Skye’s problems were as I went along. I really didn’t know what I was doing.
If you are a writer, would you have started to write a novel differently? I bet your would. I had never taken any academic writing courses in college. I still haven’t.