I wrote The Great Storms back in 2007. My friend and I had been delivering bulk newspapers for the local journal for approximately a year. Naturally we read the news a lot and in the wee hours of the morning speculated on topics ranging from world events to food. The idea came to life one night as we sat on the hard seats of the delivery van, bundled in old clothes that were stained with ink. We were discussing climate change and weather patterns. My friend knew I enjoyed writing, and suggested I write a book engaging the topic.
For the next three days I scribbled out a plot and characters, letting the interactions spring to life as I wrote. I had a general direction, but didn’t know the ending or the details until they made their way onto paper. Using material from our discussions, I included topics from the scientific arena, and its relationship to nature. I applied bits of history and played with human interrelationships in a deprived cultural setting. I asked myself questions like how would loss of modern technology affect the information people were able to obtain and pass down? What would people focus on and how would they regress? The answer that formed was a society based more around oral tradition and seemingly primitive with a few modern perks here and there. The main goal would be survival; while rather common attributes such as literacy would be retained by only a few individuals. Institutional things such as grammar probably wouldn’t be as evident or imposed because even in our technology laden society grammar is rather loose (I know I’m guilty). However some of the more basic and beautiful, for lack of a better word, characteristics would be evident like camaraderie.
After three days of being locked away in my room, I had a story driven by dialogue, dotted with detail and written in two separate notebooks. Nor was it in sequential order. The result was a jumbled, scribbled mess. Nevertheless I was satisfied for the moment and tossed the notebooks aside to review later.
A year and a half passed before I gathered the notebooks and started transferring the written story onto my computer. The process mainly occurred at work during my down time. It took forever because I didn’t do it every day. Once the transfer was complete the long process of providing details and editing began. Again, it was a broken endeavor as I juggled other aspects of my life. Once I was satisfied, I began pitching to agents and publishers.
But that’s a process I’ll save for my next post.