The First Chapter…

November 18, 2014

The first chapter I wrote I dreamed about. In my dream this young, attactive woman, a teacher, goes to sleep in her mountain cabin in early February and she has an experience that at first looks like an OBE or Out of Body Experience, but turns out to be a spontaneous teleportation to another dimension. It’s not a parallel dimension, but it does occupy the same space as earth, just a different place.

The main character, Skylar Winter, tells her story in first person and takes us through the sensations she is aware of and the realization that her feet are not on the ground, she’s not in her bed, and she’ a little dizzy. She finds a way out of the dark to a beautiful expanse of meadow and trees, colors so brilliant they do not compare to what we see ourselves here in our world. She is lighter and glides over the floor of a balcony instead of walks and then is jarred by hearing the voice of a young girl calling her Avria.

I liked the visual picture I was creating, but after reading it decided it was not right for the first chapter. I needed to get the readers excited and curious about what was going to happen in this story, after all, it was not going to be all flowers and butterflies. So I chucked that chapter and wrote another. This time she transports spontaneously to a very dark and dangerous, morbid place in the other dimension, which is called Mohrkhavn. She finds herself outside of an ancient, grey castle and someone is in danger there. She, herself, is nearly captured by men, if they are men, who have some distinctive features.

This was a much better opening chapter. It is juxtaposed with the next chapter that introduces us to the antagoinst, Ryan Eddington. I always enjoyed reading Dean Koontz and began looking at different styles and formulas he might be using in telling his stories. One of them was to get the reader to travel back and forth between different events happening to different characters in the book. I decided to try that myself. I’m happy with how well that worked for me.

I began visualizing what Skye Winter would look like. She needed to be vulnerable and have some flaws. I would tackle the antagonist next with the hope I would figure out what Skye’s problems were as I went along. I really didn’t know what I was doing.

If you are a writer, would you have started to write a novel differently? I bet your would. I had never taken any academic writing courses in college. I still haven’t.

Grabbing an idea as it floats by…

Like a lot of people, I’m sure, I frequently thought I’d like to write a book some day. As life moved along and I shared mine with close friends, I began to hear phrases like, “You should write a book”, or That should be in a book!” I don’t know about you, but when I heard people say that to me, my first thought was, I don’t have anything interesting to write about. I used to think, I haven’t acquired enough knowledge, or my life is too ordinary, I can’t imagine anyone reading what i would write about.

Eventually, I took a few online classes and programs and the phrase I always heard was, “Write about What you Know.” If that was too tough, you could ,”Write about something you’d like to know about.” I knew about psychology, family, relationships, and marriage. I had degrees in that area so I finally wrote a non-fiction book. Once it was done, I had very little interest in it and wanted to move on to something else.

I had friends who wrote fiction, but I never thought I would. I was completely convinced that I was just not creative enough to do that. So when I decided to give it a try, it started with me thinking, if I could write what holds my interest enough that I would actually feel some passion writing about, maybe I could come up with something. I thought about what I like to read. I enjoy (among a number of other categories) dystopian novels. I’m not sure why. I don’t want to be a survivalist. I sure don’t want to have to be. I just thought it would be interesting to think about life happening in a whole different setting.

I liked Hunger Games and Divergent. I read others that didn’t have the same prominence and enjoyed them, too. But I didn’t want my world, the one I wrote about, to be dark or negative. I wanted it to be hopeful, happy, funny at times. I wanted there to be beauty and darkness just so the light side would triumph. The paranormal, supernatural, mystical, I also loved.

I knew about the parallel dimension theory. Not because I was smart enough to take a course in Physics (which I wish now I had), but then again, maybe it would have limited my imagination if I did know the boundaries that such knowledge would have imposed on me. I also didn’t have much knowledge of branches of the military, the art of war, robotics, certain technology, space or federal organizations like the FBI, CIA, DARPA, NSA or even sheriff’s departments. And yet, they all showed up.

The way it began for me was a thought. I want to write about a parallel dimension. I had no idea beyond that.

Being a Writer…

I have several blogs floating around, but none that I am drawn to actively visit or post on. Maybe starting this one will encourage me to keep up with others. I decided to start one for Dimension Norraena because I’m really excited about this story. I wanted to keep a record of   how I started and how and where the ideas came, what worked for me and what didn’t. I’m hoping that other people might read of my adventures and efforts and feel insprired to try writing themselves or at least be amused by my foibles and successes. Maybe you can add some of your own if you’re a writer, too.

I hope when you drop by and read anything that piques your interest that you’ll say hello and add your ideas, thoughts or questions and maybe an interchange of dialog will be interesting to read.

Thanks so much for stopping. It means a lot to me.