The idea for White Rabbit started forming in my head a long, long time ago. So long ago that I can’t even exactly pinpoint when.
I just know that there were these two characters (who would later become Logan and Tess) that just started interacting in my head one day.
Whenever my mind started to wander, it would invariably find its way to them.
For awhile, I was simply content to daydream about them. It didn’t even occur to me to try and write the story down until I noticed that they’d been there for years and hadn’t gone away.
It didn’t seem to me at first that I had enough for a story much less a full length novel. The things that happened in my head were much more like a collection of isolated scenes rather than a coherent narrative.
But I committed to at least start writing it down. And that’s what I did.
It was slow to come together in the beginning. This is before I became a bona fide plotter so I was kind of pant-sing it and it wasn’t really working that well for me.
Still, I kept writing and most of that writing took on the form of notes to myself. These notes dealt with he characters and what should/should not happen throughout the plot. One question that popped up over and over again as “why would so and so even do that? That doesn’t make sense.”
I did end up putting the project down for a long while at one point. But my characters wouldn’t leave me alone so I picked it back eventually.
This time, I decided to take more time to free write and then really plot everything out before I attempted to fully write it out again.
Here’s an excerpt from one of my sessions:
The story will be told entirely from Logan’s point of view. It’s going to begin with him in prison. The story will be told primarily through conversations with his cellmate and through flashback of his dealings with Tess. The novel comes current with his release from prison (the picture incident can be the catalyst that sets the whole novel off) He goes off on a quest to find Tess and finally tracks her to a vacation home in Hawaii. We can leave the Tess/Dom storyline out because that will comprise a large part of my next novel. Once he and Tess reunite though, I have no idea where the novel is going to go. Should someone die? I think that’s so baroque. Should I have Logan get into more trouble? And have Tess get into the trouble with him? Logan then realizes that he’s really no good to anyone and sees that he’s putting Tess on a path to getting herself killed, just like his parents, just like his wife and child. And so he leaves her and takes off to go destroy his life in peace, by himself where he can’t hurt anyone. The story really is about his struggle to love her, to be “good” even though he sees himself as a rotten person. Really, he’s kind of like Sayid, like Carlito, like Wolverine. Gonna roll these three characters into one and hope that it gives me a believable, likable, but sufficiently tortured Logan.
As you can see, I’m just letting my fingers fly across the keyboard letting whatever comes to mind, whether they be questions, observations or what have you, just come out as they are. I am not trying to shape my story just yet. I’m in exploratory mode.
In general I’ll let myself play around in this way for at least two solid weeks and sometimes up to a whole month. Then I’ll take it to pre-writing phase which I’ll talk about next.
note: bookmark this post because I’ll be updating it with the links to the other posts in this series