While you are pretty familiar with Cassidy through the 2010 Story, I have rarely spoken of Lily before today. Thus, I shouldn’t jump right in how she was born but start with a little summary of that project.
The One Who Sees is the first novel of my Old Souls series. It is also the first novel I know I will finish. It’s the novel of which Lily is the main character and narrator. I’ve been working on it for a while, then life forced me to put it aside. I’ve been back on it for the past couple of months.
I won’t tell you the story since you will discover it through its birth process.
A little context
Twilight had just hit the big screen and the phenomenon built up. As my work asks that I write games for the American public (mostly kids and teenagers of said public), I couldn’t very well ignore the frenzy. I read the books and studied the reactions of the audience and what triggered it. I knew a client would ask me for a Twilight-inspired game sooner or later.
I’ll give the books their dues: they are perfectly written for the public they were intended for (female teenagers). Which is not to say they cannot satisfy readers outside of its target audience, of course. As a mature, book-devouring reader, I found them rather flat. They didn’t have the intricacies and deepness I like to find in my books.
I am not a Twilight-hater nor a Twilight-lover. I recognize Meyer’s craft though I don’t personally enjoy it much.
But my intent is not to discuss the strength and flaws of that series but talk about my own so on we move.
The birth scene
Reading Twilight left me eager to sink my teeth (pun intended) as deep in a story as I craved it. I sat in front of my keyboard, fingers dancing and stretching, their tips tingling in expectation. I rested them smoothly on the keys… blank… I ached to write but no story came to my mind. Nothing.
I went to bed unsatisfied and stirred sleeplessly for hours. I was frustrated. My creativity felt cheated.
As I rolled on my right side for the umpteenth time, I remembered that Meyer had dreamt a scene that later exploded into a full-blown series. It almost like she had dreamt of the future.
“Okay,” I told myself as I rolled on my back. “Suppose the main character dreams of the future.”
“Then what?” said the other part of my brain.
” A dream of someone’s death!”
“Cliché or boring, choose your pick.”
“Say she has only 7 days to save the guy because whatever she dreams happens anywhere between the dream and the end of the week.”
“So now she’s a girl and he’s a guy…”
“Nah! Even if she didn’t want to tell him she dreams of the future, it would be too easy to stick with him and protect him.”
“So not a couple?”
“Nope, he ought to be a random guy.”
“Okay, I think I have it. She works at a hotel, meets a cute guy in the elevator, then dreams he dies.”
“Nice! He is a client so it’s a nasty can of worms you got there. Harder to be intimate enough to save him.”
“And she is not sure she wants to save him.”
“No, she’s conflicted. She hates her gift. It’s the first time she dreams of something so important. Her ex-boyfriend, scratch that, fiancé was a jerk. She doesn’t want to get killed in the process.”
“But she does decide to help him?”
“Yes. She’s a good woman. She’ll try to find a way to get to him in time. What could she do? She could kidnap him or…”
“You’re right! That’s my story! That’s my story! First person, present and it’s better if I don’t think what she thinks in advance and just write it as it comes with her analysis of the pros and cons and her desperate attempts!”
I looked at the clock and saw it was 4 am. Luckily, I didn’t work that day. I had my story and finally drifted into sleep.
To be continued… (meaning “You’ll know more when I discuss my process and how this initial light show turned into a series of books.”)