The past three years have flown by. I must be having a good time! I am now over 85% done with the rough draft of the first book. Setting my sights toward finishing it by the end of next month. If I reach this goal, the next step involves leaving it alone for thirty days. Then returning to the draft with renewed vigor in order to “revision” it. A process aimed at changing the story to make it better.
I already have some ideas. I want to tighten it up so it becomes a page-turner. I want to create more tension between characters. Add more depth to personalities. Develop the microbe character more.
The microbe has been a challenge. It is one of my key characters. A marine biologist and surfer are the other two main participants in the first book. The difficulty in writing about the microbe involves the avoidance of anthropomorphism.
How do you make a single cell organism interesting without given it human characteristics? For example, a human character can possess emotions, specific identifying characteristics, flaws, and strengths. How can you describe the emotions of a microbe?
My writing coach, Alida Winternheimer, had a great idea. Utilize the voice of a narrator similar to a Discovery Channel program on sharks. In theory, using a narrator, I can more effectively describe the microbe as it moves from one host to another. Easier said than done. I have struggled with accomplishing this approach. My chapters about the microbe are the most difficult to write. For example, I want the microbe to recognize stress in its host. What is the most effective manner to convey this idea to the reader? Definitely a challenge.
Some of my microbe chapters do flow. The narrator paints the environment surrounding the microbe and talks about its reaction to it. Other chapters slip into describing its actions in human terms. It’s not human, so I want to avoid that approach whenever possible. When I “revision” the draft, I want the reader to enjoy the microbe and root for it as it evolves.
As I have mentioned in the past, writing is harder than I initially imagined. I have enjoyed the process and hopeful my efforts will result in an entertaining read.