As planned, I completed the first draft of my novel last week.
Reading it was as difficult as writing it.
It was abysmal.
Of course it was! I’d basically scribbled out a story without adding any colour, smell or texture.
My characters were as developed as an amoeba without a nucleus.
Still, a terrible draft is better than no draft at all.
My current method is a backward one.
Now I’ve written the book, I’m going to start researching it.
I’m going to look deep into my characters hearts and wonder what they really want for breakfast.
What are their greatest fears, their strongest desires? What on earth is in their pockets?
My young heroine, Lilly, is obsessed with reptiles and wants to be a wildlife photographer.
I went to the library and took out ‘Iguanas for Dummies’ ‘Life in Cold Blood’ and an ancient copy on how to take photographs.
I now know some very interesting facts, including why my brother’s pet iguana died so prematurely when we were kids. Iguanas don’t eat bugs.
Getting to grips with who Lilly is will be a piece of cake compared to finding out who Alejandro ‘Alex’ Quintero is.... if that is his real name.
For starters, what’s it like to be a boy?
And what’s it like to grow up on the Caribbean coast of Colombia?
I don’t have all the answers but I’m going to have fun finding out.
Meanwhile, if you are a boy and were brought up in Cartagena de las Indias, please get in touch.