Welcome to the Virtual Book Tour for Cataclysm, Supernova Saga #2 by C.L Parker. We have a special treat today, C.L. Parker has written a guest post. First, here's the synopsis of the book:
They thought the worst of the storm was behind them. In reality, they had only weathered impossible odds to find they were smack dab in the eye of an unforgiving cyclone. More was on the way. The raging bands of chaos that surrounded them forced the destructive walls of the monster to close in around them. Taking on a life of its own, the storm growled and gnashed its teeth, threatening to devour everything they ever were or ever would be. There would be nothing but devastation left in its wake, and it had set its sights on Kerrigan Cruz and Dominic Grayson.
Through the howling winds and punishing lashes of rain, a stranger came. The promise of a better tomorrow, a brighter, sunnier life filled with hopes and dreams rests in the palm of his hand. It is knowledge, a formidable weapon when wielded by the right person at just the right time. If she can only harness the power of this stranger’s knowledge, Kerrigan might be able to save the one she loves before he fades into nothingness, and she is left all alone.
But is this stranger friend or foe? Drawn to her side by an unseen force, will he enlighten Kerrigan or will he seek to claim her for his own?
Cataclysm: Through the darkness of night, Light will lead the way.
I asked C.L. Parker if she would write about story development. To give us an insight into her creative process.
This was a lesson I had to learn.
When I first started the Supernova Saga, I’ll admit that it wasn’t with an outline. I saw the first scene in my head, pounded it out on the keyboard, and let it take me away from there. Yes, there was some research I had to do along the way like gathering information about St. Augustine, character pics, choosing the house where they would live (including the layout of said house), even right down to the appliances and furniture inside their living quarters. But the majority of the story was written by the seat of my pants.
What I found was that as things became more convoluted, I had to buckle down and hammer out an outline. I had so many characters who I needed to make sure weren’t lost, but not thrown in for the sake of being thrown in either. I also had minute details that had to be catered to, or I would contradict myself. An outline is the best way to keep track of these things.
Granted, my outline isn’t the most official looking document, and I would never send it out to a potential publishing house, but it works for me. Before I did it, I found myself stuck behind writing blocks. I thought it was because of the personal drama happening in my life at the time, but oddly, once the outline was done, I was off and running with no more obstacles in the way. That cinched it for me.
I still have to make sure I’m following the set of rules I’ve set for the world I built, but for the most part, my story still writes itself. I’ve met other authors (mostly aspiring) who seem to get hung up on the technicality of the writing process. I don’t let myself get bogged down with that because I find it stifles the creativity process. The story always has to come first and foremost, and I have to remain true to my characters and what they’re showing me. So, if they throw me for a loop, which they often do, I let them take the lead and then adjust anything I need to as a result after the fact. After all, it’s their story. I’m just the conduit through which they have decided to tell it.
When I first started writing, I thought I was crazy because these characters talked to me. It was when I ventured deeper into the literary world and read up on some other authors that I found that I’m not the only one. I kind of think it’s a prerequisite for authors. There’s a fine line between brilliance and insanity, and we all walk it on a daily basis.
For me, these stories play out like a movie in my mind. I just do my best to convey the scene, emotions, and dialogue in a way the reader will see, hear, and feel what the characters show me.
Look, the best author is one who lets the writing come naturally. If you try to force it, the reader will know that you forced it. Just have fun with it, and remember to show, don’t tell. And I’ll add one other little morsel as food for thought: If the characters and the story aren’t believable to you, how can you expect them to be believable to anyone else?
Until next time . . .
Thank you, CL! Very insightful post! Your dedication to your characters definitely shows in your books!
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Also, make sure to check out my review of Supernova, the first book in the Supernova Saga series. I'll be adding a review of Catclysm later this week, so watch for it!