Oliver asked me to write down what I learned writing this particular book. I had no idea where to start. Much like Rabbit in the Road, writing The Dusk Harbinger was basically an exercise- how quickly can I learn from constant failure? How many different failures can I learn from? How many of them do I have to repeat before I learn?
I feel like I spent the last four years in a cycle of effing up everything, and turning out great words in the process. Even sitting on this side of it, on the “the end” side, I’m in awe of how many failures are stacked together and it’s still done. A year late, but it’s done. It amazes me how much can go wrong and we can still produce work of which we’re proud. So here’s what I learned the hard way, and what I hope you learn the easy way.
Character names can be used to create associations. This is something to work on long after you’ve solved your story problems. If you don’t know what I mean, start with Names, Part 1. If you’re past that, read on.
So… remember when I said it was done a little bit ago? That we’d finally finished Part 1? Yeah… It’s not. I have a stack of rewrites as long as my arm to work on, and some of the best scenes in the book just never made it onto the page! I just want to thank my incredibly patient editor, Ryvenna, for putting up with me. Also, our SuperUsers, the test reading group has been very patient and very thorough through all of this, and I appreciate it. It will be done, and soon, but it isn’t. Stick with me. We’re getting there.
We had a talk last night about genres, and Oliver has this really cool theory about how you can guess a person’s favorite by certain facts about their life. It was hilarious and fun (and a topic for another post). Thinking I was slick, I asked him to tell me MY favorite genre.
I don’t talk about my life a whole lot, but I can’t properly start this new year without unburdening a debt I owe- a debt of gratitude. My last year was all set to be a disaster. There’s no other way I can describe it. Everything aligned to put my life in the toilet. Lucky for me, I know the right people.
(the authors, a year ago, still up to their necks in the book)
Some time four years ago, Oliver told me we were going to write a story. He had an ending in mind, a beautiful ending. He had the idea of a couple of fascinating characters in a place like nothing I’d ever experienced.