One of the things that I haven’t really had the chance to talk about is how much I know about the universe I’m working in as it pertains to Tellest. I’ve been writing the novels since I was 17, and a lot of what my audience reads is something that’s been written twice. It wasn’t until I finished writing the third book in my series (the first time) that I decided my writing had evolved far beyond what it had started out as. So many things changed – but I was still writing the same baseline stories.
Several times over the course of the books, I’ve been able to surprise myself from a narrative standpoint. Characters who were evil in the original books ended up on the other side of the playing field. People who had small parts were embellished, and others were completely stripped from the book altogether. And then, of course, there’s the whole point of the series getting down to brass tacks right away this time. In the original trilogy, you learned very slowly of the superhero powers that each of the characters had. In this one, you learn it all right from the get go.
A lot of the time, that change in the narrative comes as a surprise, even to me. Whenever that happens, I’m invigorated by the potential. It’s scary, because you’re going off track from what you anticipated, but I’ve always been of the mind that you let the story dictate itself – you’re just the writer. On the other side of things, it’s absolutely exciting. When you’re writing a story you know without a fault, some of the scenes can tend to drag on. You’re not doing anything new. It’s been done before, and you’re not pushing boundaries. But when you manage to surprise even yourself, you know you’re onto something good.
Whenever these things happen, I tend to try and make sure there is potential for readers to catch it before it actually happens. This has happened twice before in my series… once in each book. As time goes on, I’m sure people are going to look out for them like I’m the M. Night Shymalan of ancient superhero novels. Eventually I’m going to have to think up even bigger surprises.
Side note: Shymalan is actually a pretty nice guy if the conversations I’ve had with him are genuine.
For now, I have to wrap myself in the twist. The payoff has to be as powerful as it was before, and I think in this case, it will be even greater. And then of course there’s the post-climax reveal that I was already intending on writing…
But that’s a story for March, I suppose. Not too far away now!