28 January 2012

The Gap Between Thought and Text

So I've "written" all of And All the Stars.  In a strictly non-textual kind of way.

First there's Section One, "Arrival".  Section Two is "Watching the World Die".  Section Three is "Not Lord of the Flies".  Section Four is "Mythological References".  Section Five is "Let's Dance" and Six is "Did He Smile?"  Section Seven is the last.

I don't usually write books set on Earth, because of the need to get things right, and though I have some leeway because the story is set in 2016, I need to research a heap of things.  Which cities have a population of over a million.  Hinduism (though I'll barely use any of it - it's just so I properly understand one of the main characters).  And I need to go walk down to Wooloomooloo, since that's what Madeleine will do once I get her out.  [I used to walk down there occasionally at lunch, but I need to refresh my memory] 

I have a name for one of the major characters - Avinash - which was one of those fortuitous names to discover.  Another name will probably be Gideon, but that's still up in the air.  There's more sex in this story than I usually detail.  And more pain.

All of this is in my head.  Bouncing around, adding new complexities and layers, changing constantly.  Not the whole of a book, but the key notes.  The hotel.  The boy on the stairs.  The awkward conversation about sex.  The scene with the music.  And yet I still haven't moved my poor character off the slab of concrete she woke up on, in the ruins of St James Station.

It's a marvellous book.  Different from my usual stuff, but the characters have quickly become people and there's half a dozen scenes I want to get to, which is one of my main motivations for writing.  It's got its hooks in me hard, and I think about it come and going, gaming and walking.  I'm thoroughly enjoying it, and looking forward to seeing what people think of it.

But, oh, the GAP between thought and text!


  1. Andrea,
    The last time you left your "element," you created Touchstone. I am eagerly anticipating AATS, Hunting, and everything else conceive. :)

  2. I liked reading about your process so much I intend to steal it! (Not really, I was going to do that anyway).

    This sounds very much like another book I would happily read, as long as it doesn't come out before the one with the zeppelin-vampires. So remind me again how many works-in-progress you have in, er, progress?

  3. This one will come out before the zeppelin-vampires (it's pretty hard to stop thinking about one book to think about a different one).

    I have tons of works in progress! But three scheduled for this year. [None of which I'm currently working on at the moment. ;) ]

  4. ...yeah, well I know *that* feeling :)

  5. Thanks for your work. Really enjoy your books. :)

  6. Been here. Doing that. DON'T ask me about the Egyptian Connection. I may shriek and tear my hair.


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