One Writer’s Life
Last week, I finished the first draft of Book IV of the Karakesh Chronicles. The story centers around twelve-year-old Demara, who is half selkie and half human. Toward the end of the book, Demara is given a baby named Bimi Lightfoot. Bimi is half faerie and half human, and therefore rejected by his faerie mother and her people.
In Book IV, Bimi is just a charming baby and a minor character. I thought I was done with him and the Chronicles, but he was not done with me. He reappeared in my mind as a badly behaved, angry nine-year-old, and began pushing me to write his story.
I am constantly amazed at how characters demand attention, and ideas appear. Most often, when I’m meditating, or doing a routine task, a scene or a phrase or a person will appear out of somewhere. I may not knowingly be seeking the next part of a story. The scene simply begins to play out on an internal screen, and I hurry to write it or make enough notes so that I can return to it later.
Book III began with a name: Simead Nair. What kind of person would have such an intriguing name, I wondered. He turned out to be a selkie with a complex personality that I could not have consciously invented.
Where do these ideas come from? I don’t know. It’s a wonderful mystery, and it makes the experience of writing into a great adventure.