Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Writing, Narrative - N.K. Jemisin Interview

Here is an interview with N.K. Jemisin (author of The Inheritance Trilogy) in which she writes about the crafting of her first novel:
Well, I wrote the novel twice.  The first time, back when I first came up with the idea, it was very traditional epic fantasy:  third person, a male protagonist; there was a journey to acquire the MacGuffin of Power (the Stone of Earth), I think there was some swordplay here and there.  Very traditional, and a bit boring.  It didn’t sell — rightly — and I trunked it.  But years later I decided the concept had good bones, so I shed the treatment and started fresh, stopped trying to adhere to tradition and boring myself, and wrote it the way I felt like writing it.  That basically meant using the old novel as a kind of very detailed outline, and otherwise completely revamping the whole thing.
That’s not my usual writing process, though — who can afford to write every novel twice?  I usually write a detailed outline of maybe 15-20 pages, including character profiles and brief worldbuilding notes.  Sometimes I start a wiki — I’ve done that with the Inheritance Trilogy, so I can easily look up concepts or made-up words I’ve forgotten from book 1 to book 3.  Then I usually write a few “test chapters” to get the voice of the story right — I try different characters’ PoVs, different tones, first person and third person, and so on — and once I feel that one of those chapters works, I start writing in earnest.
 The piece is short but there's some interesting stuff in there.

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2 comments:

Therinx said...

Making a Wiki is interesting. That just opened up a door for me... hmm.

mri said...

That's grand, Pops :)

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