During our meeting at the skydiving place last Thursday, my editor said she would take some of my questions to her boss and let me know what his answers were. Today she was back at work and true to her word, sent me those answers.
The first is that Bethany House has indeed approved the story idea for The Other Side of the Sky! So it’s official and I can now begin working on it in earnest. Not that I wasn’t before, really, just that it’s nice to stop wondering if any day I’m going to get a “Thanks but no thanks” and have to drop it all to come up with another idea. Not that I wondered overmuch, mind you.
I’ve been reading a lot about Jerusalem over the last few days. Why was the Temple destroyed, what happened after that, why is the area called Palestine, what is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre about, etc. Today I went looking for maps. Not that I’m writing about Jerusalem — I’m not — but I find that reading about historical things gives me lots of ideas.
The other day I was trying to go through my five pages of notes on the prologue and kept getting cross-eyed so I decided I’d go through and just write down all the questions the notes I had were generating. I put each question on a small business sized card and ended up with 39 cards. Many of the questions were of the “Should it be A or B?” nature. No wonder I was getting overwhelmed. If I’m trying to follow some kind of simple narrative and with every step have several options… it doesn’t take much before you can’t even hold it all in your head anymore.
Sort of like this. I’m going to write a story about a girl and three bears. Or should it be a boy? And maybe only two bears. Or maybe they should be raccoons. Or deer. If they were deer how would that change the story? What if they were owls? Okay, so she goes into the woods… or do I want it to be a moor? Do bears live in moors? I’d better go look that up. Okay. No, bears don’t live in moors. What about deer? Oh, but I want them to be eating porridge and I don’t think deer eat porridge. Maybe they could be eating salad.
Let’s go back to the bears for now. So she gets to their house and knocks on the door. Would the bears leave their door unlocked? Well, why not? They’re bears. So she knocks and goes in and finds … what? A sofa? A TV? A pile of pine needles? I wish I knew what this story was going to be about…
See? Like that. So now I have a whole stack of cards about stuff that happened in the story maybe 1000 years before the actual events of the story (or should it be 500 years? Or 100 years?) so that I can figure out why things are the way they are in the present story time. Politics, government, people groups, and the actual physical location…
My hope is that once I get these things more or less determined, then maybe I can not only start writing but keep it up for a time.
Seriously, I do hope that. LOL. Oh, and there was one “comment” from BHP and that was their hope that I would try to tell my story in the fewest words possible in the interest of attracting a potentially broader readership. Apparently there are many readers who are scared off by long-looking books. I, on the other hand, pass up on books that are too short. Seriously. I don’t like short books. They’re just too…
I am such a dinosaur. 🙂