Okay, so if you can think back to the last time you found yourself praying for an academic semester to finally – for the love of humanity – end, then you know exactly how I feel right now. Apparently, educators are often the ones who look most forward to breaks and holidays, not necessarily the students. No wonder – not only do we get to create the exams, we have the joy of proctoring and grading them as well. *Sigh*
Nevertheless, this hasn’t deterred me from slogging along with my latest standalone novel. I’ve just completed Chapter 2, and my EXTREMELY lofty goal is to complete this book by the end of the fall season. The story is there, but I want to get to know the characters a bit more before I continue.
I don’t know how it is for you fellow writers out there, but my characters really like to communicate with me in different ways, through different mediums. Sometimes I’ll even see a complete stranger who reminds me of a character, and I can flesh out details based on that encounter. Other times, scenes unfold themselves and I have to figure out the sequences surrounding the lead up to that moment.
In many ways, it’s similar to planning out a course at the university. You have a strong structure and sense of direction, but you make constant modifications throughout the semester to make sure that the content remains relevant to the characters (aka students) involved. You never really know if your work has paid off until the final exam.