Edge of the Wedge came a little differently. I had a picture book manuscript that had gotten a lot of interest and good feedback, but no offers. A writing friend of mine read it and said, “this could be a good picture book, but it also reads a bit like a synopsis for a great middle grade story.”
DUH! Why didn’t I think of that?! To Find A Wonder began as a PB too! The basic bones of an outline was already there I just had to decide how I was going to make it unique in a market loaded with fantasy stories.
So, long story short…er short story, long, I took that 750 word PB manuscript and I fleshed it out into a 38,000 word MG novel.
This is where my world building and character development came in. I asked myself– what characters don’t we read about in MG fantasy very often? How can I make my wizards different from all the other wizards in other books? What quirks can I give them that will make them feel like real people and less like the teachers at Hogwarts? And more world building– what do their houses look like? How do they interact with the outside world? There are some good sites on world building with lots of questions to ask yourself in order to build a well-rounded world, just Google!
I always begin by figuring out what my characters look like– that’s the easiest question to answer. The next thing I figure out is what they want and why they want it–what in their past has kept them from attaining it already?Not all of my questions get answered right away–sometimes it takes a while to know exactly why a character wants something! It wasn’t until very near completion of EOTW that I discovered why Mae’s best friend, Leif, carves animals out of wood and why it was important– but when I did finally make the connection, it made perfect sense. Of course I had to go into earlier chapters and revise–but that’s the fun part, right?
I tried to stay away from things that have been
overcooked overdone (yeah, Mae is still in my head–she likes to eat!). Like the typical white wizard with the long beard and “shiny” wands. I added some fun history to my race of little country people, called Happenies, and gave their race as a whole their own culture and some funny quirks that I could use in my story to provide some funny moments.
The biggest thing I want other writers to know, esp. those just beginning their writing journey, is that it doesn’t all come together right away. A story needs dreaming time. Let your subconscious do the work for you and if it tells you something, but you don’t quite understand why your character would do that…give it time. Sooner or later, it will make sense. You just have to trust yourself.
Below is the current list of contributing writers to the HOW I WRITE blog series.
Click a link and find out HOW I WRITE! (in alphabetical order, check us all out!)
Kendall Ashby Corbit- http://www.twokendals.blogspot.com/ Rated R
Kristine Asselin – http://krisasselin.blogspot.com/ Rated PG
Tatiana Caldwell – http://tatianacaldwell.com/blog Rated R
Isabelle Flynn – http://www.isabelleflynn.com/ Rated PG
Ansha Kotyk – http://www.anshakotyk.com/blog Rated PG
Laura Pauling – http://laurapauling.com/ Rated PG
Alexia Reed – http://alexiareed.blogspot.com Rated R
Gail Roarke – http://gailroarke.blogspot.com Rated NC-17
P.M. Rousseau – http://pmrousseau.com/ Rated R