Jodi Cleghorn, my
pesky beloved editor, on her own blog, posed a question for me to answer.
Two years ago, she and Paul Anderson, two fellow bloggers at Write Anything, asked me if I’d like to write a story for an anthology they’d dreamed up. “It’s called Chinese Whisperings. Did you ever play that game when you were a kid? In America, I think it’s called telephone. (OK, I’ll admit that’s probably not a direct quote. I probably still have the email but I didn’t want to spend the time looking for it.) Two years later that, story has been done, plus another in the series, the eBook has been out for over a year, I’ve published another story through working friendship collaboration (with two more on the way), and Chinese Whispering is about to publish it’s first two volumes in paperback.
In case you decided to skip that paragraph…it’s been a busy two years.
The First Chinese Whisperings books was written a little bit like a camp-song sung in the round. Each author had to take their main character from the cast of secondary characters in the prior story. And now that Chinese Whisperings: The Red Book is about to come out in paperback (Oct 11, 2011, in case you were wondering), my
frenetic energetic friend from across the world has put this question to me: What would I do if I had a second chance at my story? Is there another character that I whose story I would have chosen to tell?
No. (I could make it shorter, but I liked including the period.)
As I was waiting my turn to write my story (sixth out of ten) I was able to read the stories before mine as they were turned in. I remember while reading Jason Coggins’ Something Mean in the Dream Scene, wanting very badly to be the next author in line, because a story came to me almost fully formed about one of the characters. But having just reread that story I can’t for the life of remember who that character was…or what the story was.
Then when I read Tina Hunter’s Innocence I drew a blank. I didn’t want to write the story of any of those characters. But Jodi reminded me that I’m always like that at the beginning of a project. And she was right. After about ten rereads the the secondary characters of that story were all already too involved in the events of the book. I needed to look at the background characters. When I finally did choose the story it came out quickly, if erratically.
But looking back at the book as a whole, I can’t think of a character I would have rather picked up on than Simon.
Although I have to admit I was a little bummed that Jasmine Gallant didn’t tell Verity’s story. But it’s hard to hold a grudge when she did such a great job with Dash.
This will all make so much more sense to you if you’ve read the book. Don’t have a copy? Never fear. It’ll be out in paperback in less than a month.
I’d originally tagged Annie Evett as the next to answer the question, but it seems she, as well as most of the other female writers are busy. So to keep things going I’ll tag Rob Diaz.
7 thoughts on “If I Had It To Do Over Again”
How utterly frustrating you can’t remember! But it does give me a good point of comparison in the third wekk of the promos when we talk about the differences in writing The Red Book and The Yin & Yang Book.
I’m face-palming, having forgotten Verity. She would have been an amazing character to have chased across the university campus and beyond – sassy, no-nonsense…not to mention having a window in on Simon’s world and her feeling for him. I wonder if anyone will nominate her?
I too was hoping Verity would be chosen as the next story, but since I had already written mine it was more of a “oh, her story would be cool to read” rather than wanting to do anymore writing of my own. I do apologize that I didn’t write more secondary characters into my story for you to chose from, Dale, but I think you see a wonderful job with Simon.
Pffft…Tina, you had plenty of good characters. I just froze up because it was my turn. 😉
Hi Dale – been a while – but finally got it written.. tagged done!!