This is my first post for the 2012 WordCount Blogathon, which takes place all of May.
I was already a professional writer, mostly of adult nonfiction and series books for children, when I wrote my first adult novel, Pandora’s Genes. It began as a dream, just after I had finished a long, research-heavy book.
In the dream, I saw a good man who was about to do something very bad for what he thought were good reasons. The dream was fuzzy about what he was doing and why, but the feelings when I woke up were sharp and real. Who was this man? What was he about to do? Why was he going to do it? I really had no idea, but the thoughts were so insistent that I sat down and started typing… and basically didn’t stop until I had a rough draft of the entire first part of Pandora’s Genes. This first writing took me about three weeks, and it was essentially all I did during that time. .
This was the first and so far only time I have written something long this way; it was almost as if it were being dictated to me. The characters and situations seemed to arrive on the page of their own accord, and I worked as quickly as I could, because I wanted to find out what would happen next. The process was very exciting, mentally and yes, physically. I later described it to a friend as “like having a three-week long orgasm.”
It was six years from the first writing before the book was published, but the basic kernel for the entire story was there, then.