14 Oct 2006

The Book, version 1

Writing

Continued from The Book, version 0

The novel, when it began to take form, was more about hacking than industrial espionage. My protagonist, Malcolm, a former FBI agent turned corporate security consultant, needed help in that area. After a few attempts at a workable sidekick, I created Andy. Mid-20s, female, sarcastic and attractive – a geek idol. I discovered that I could write Andy’s dialogue better than Malcolm’s, though the two together usually worked. My critique group always liked Andy scenes.

So I slogged away at writing, and finished what I called a first draft, though it needed a lot of work. When I came to review it, though, I began to realize just how much the book had changed over the course of three hundred pages. It wasn’t the book I’d started out writing – which in itself wasn’t really the book outline that had been my original motivation.

And the more I looked at it, the more I thought the problems unfixable.

One problem was that Andy had taken over. Malcolm was just not as interesting. And the romantic aspect of their relationship, which had become important, worked okay, but it didn’t generate any tension, after the early times. Instead it masked the natural adversity between the two.

During the early writing, I’d hit on another obsession: the wonderful romantic comedy Still Breathing. Joanna Going’s character had the smart, ironic side that I saw in Andy, and very much her appearance. For a time, that felt inspirational. Later, the identification I made between the two was limiting, because I found myself wanting a traditional romantic comedy happy ending for Andy.

She had lost her edge.

And that was where I left the book. Not only did I not see any hope for its future, but I switched obsessions to EverQuest, and from that there was no ready return.

Current obsessions: (anime) Simoun

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 14th, 2006 at 1:09 pm and is filed under Writing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “The Book, version 1”

  1. […] Continues in The Book, version 1 […]

  2. […] anime, games, and being hooked October 22nd, 2006 at 12:49 pm The Book, version 1.5 Posted by iain in Writing Continued from The Book, version1 […]

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