Chapters one and two have been fixed/rewritten/updated and I am hoping to get chapter three done before the weekend is out. I've made the decision not to include any preambles when I post, so each week it will just be the chapter itself. I would love feedback from you if you are willing to give it. Just put any questions or comments you have in the comments for each post and I will do my best to respond to what you throw at me.
I've said it before and it bears saying again, I am really amazingly surprised at how happy and proud I am of how this story turned out. I truly hope that at least some of you enjoy it as well.
Like with my Stargate rewatch posts, I will be gathering all of the links to the chapters on their own page (the tab will be at the top of the blog, right above the post title) as they go live. I wrote up this introduction for that page, and I thought I'd put it up here for you guys as well, to give you a little bit of an idea of what the story is about and also put out the few disclaimers I am gonna deem necessary for this thing.
Choices is the novel I wrote for the 2011 National Novel Writing Month event (also known as NaNoWriMo). The second draft was written in the spring and summer of 2012 and posted here on Searching For Me a chapter a week to share with my friends and family who have been asking me when and where they might read my story. I know this story isn't perfect, but I am ridiculously proud of it all the same, so I wanted to put it out there for anyone who might be interested in what (in my opinion at least) ended up being a really good story.
When I started planning for the 2011 NaNoWriMo I actually had a very different story in mind. It was one I had been kicking about for a long time and finally thought I was ready to write. I was oh so very wrong on that score. The more I thought about that particular story the more I saw the holes in it, holes I had no real desire or ability to fill in at the time. But I was dreadfully attached to the two main characters, and I knew that I still wanted to write about them. So I thought about it for a bit and in the end I decided to just try them out in a different story, something smaller, something without the huge sweeping scale I was trying and so clearly failing to achieve. Choices was the result.
Have you ever come across an interview with a writer trying to explain that a story just seemed to appear out of nowhere and almost write itself? This is pretty much what happened to me with this novel. Characters I thought would be throwaway encounters turned out to play major roles in the proceedings. People I thought were not that bad, just misunderstood perhaps, turned out to be positively dreadful at their cores. People I thought, hell, intended, to be antagonists ended up being allies after all was said and done. I had my main character, and I had her faithful companion, and once I let them loose on the page, it was really all I could do to follow along behind them on their ride.
I am hard-pressed to categorize Choices but I suppose at its core it is a romance. But it is also a coming of age story, and more importantly the story of a woman trying to find a way to live her life on her own terms in a day and age where society isn't really inclined to let her do so. It is a bit of a fantasy in the sense that it is not set in any world that we might recognize as our own, but there are none of the traditional fantasy elements to it. It is perhaps my tribute to the works of Austen, though I lack her subtlety and therefore my story (and characters) are rather more blunt than Miss Austen would ever have thought proper, I am sure.
A disclaimer for those who choose to read this:
As I said, it is a romance, so there will be some steamy bits. I had to close my eyes when writing a few of these scenes. I'm not saying this is erotic fiction, it's not. But these are real people doing the things real people do, and I don't want to catch anyone off guard. There are also some very not nice people doing some very not nice things. There are violent acts and appalling decisions made. I don't think I am overly graphic in describing any of this, but...well, my threshold is not your threshold. I think that perfectly reasonable adults should have no problem reading this, but in case I'm wrong about that. Well, at least you've been warned.
So, if your interest has been piqued, please check back here next Thursday for chapter one!