Within the last few months, I started writing my sequel to Taming the Twisted, starting off with that book’s character’s, Abigail’s, point-of-view, essentially starting where Taming the original left off. I quickly got bored. About seven pages in, I got the idea of writing the book from one of the other character’s point-of-view, Alice, the younger sister’s.
I started the experiment by copying and pasting all of the scenes from the original book where Alice appeared in a Word document, which I printed. I tried outlining in the traditional way to try to figure out how Alice could step in to solve the mysteries that would show up in the sequel. That didn’t work at all.
Then I had the thought, What if I write a letter from Alice to me, the author, telling me why I should tell the sequel’s story from her point-of-view? So that’s what I did. I wrote it out long hand with pen and lined notebook paper. I went through Alice’s thoughts, what she did, how she did it, and why telling the story from her perspective was important. I ended up with somewhere around 10 pages filled, front and back.
I’m now using that as my outline during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I type up what I wrote until I get to what feels like it could be a scene, and then I write that scene. It’s allowed me to rack up over 30,000 words before the month’s halfway point.
I think this method is working so well for me because it allowed me to get into this other character’s head. It also allowed me to simply tell her story without worrying about showing, scene setting, and adequate description. At the end of the month, I’m hoping to have 50,000 words that I can tear apart, rearrange, add to, and fix in the revision process.
Have you every tried writing a letter from your character to yourself? If so, how did it work? I’d love to hear about so feel free to comment in the comment section.