A few years ago I decided to try participating in NanoWriMo.
It wasn’t something I had done previously, and if I am recalling correctly I got to about the halfway mark of the word count goal before getting stuck and putting the project on the shelf for a while.
The premise of the story never changed, but the approach in writing the story did. I thought initially that I would follow three perspectives through the narrative, but after some experimentation, it became clear that to achieve the tone I wanted for the tale, it needed to center more on one character’s journey. Other viewpoints still come into play at several points, but the novel turns on the growth of one point of view.
It is interesting how the tale has changed and yet at times still seems the same in my mind. While writing, in my mind’s eye I can shuffle through the scenes that never happen in this version, and touch on events that won’t be seen in the final narrative, but they are still part of the story. What we end up with is the director’s cut, if you will. When the version I have settled on as “final” is submitted later this year, it may have an editor’s cut as well before seeing the light of day.
The working title when it began was Perspectives–and was always intended to be a working title. After making the changes to the old narrative, and finding a better balance when alternating POVs, I’ve renamed this novel The Ghosts of Autumn. It captures the spirit of the story. There is a unique collision of influences in it, from Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series to Edgar Allen Poe’s tales of horror and suspense, among others. It has been fun to write ever since the story told me how it had to go.
I will keep updating on the process as this story wanders out into the world. It has a few more stops to make.