Weaving Between the Lines

A Guest Post by: Miranda Nading

When I began playing with Extinction, I had one character in mind. One story. The first three novels were written entirely from the point of view of a young girl trying to survive the end of the world. I've never liked shallow secondary characters, so everyone that popped up there little head received a backstory, a history and, if they were lucky enough, strong enough—a future.

The problem with that? I wanted more. I wanted depth, substance, and I really wanted to know why my redneck, alcoholic hit man was such a pain in my ass (sorry Nathan). To understand him better, I had to let him come out to play. Unfortunately, this gave the other characters ideas and they were soon climbing out of the box and running rough-shod over my word-monkey.

Re-writing Eve's plot line out of first-person wasn't a big deal. In the natural course of one of my novels, re-writes are a standard part of the lifecycle. The problem was each character didn't just want to follow Eve's story, they didn't have the same problems, or the same agendas. Many came in contact with her, changed the course of her journey and had a deep impact on who she was as a young woman, but they were had their own course to travel. And then there is Eve's mother. In Eve's words, she was not part of the equation. Never was, never would be. Yet she was there, whispering in my ear, insistent that Eve learn why she made the choices she made, did the things she did. Insistent that Eve know her. How could I say no to that?

This was no longer a simple re-write.

They still had the common string; their struggle to survive the end of the world. There was that. And I had Eve's story—the main highway that traveled through the story. Just going through and plugging in chapters here and there would have been catastrophic to the story line. No matter how much skill I used to get them in there.

My solution? Write a prequel. It worked for Star Wars so why couldn't it work for Extinction. It would become my springboard, my roadmap. This created a whole new problem for me. I'm a firm believer in starting a story as close to the end as possible. I like my stories fast paced with very little breathing room for my characters as they struggle to keep up, but they are never bored, or boring. I hope.

Thus, the birth of Genesis—a new first book for the series. A novella really, that introduces the world and characters of Extinction before it tips over the edge and plummets into the abyss. Each set of characters gets a glimpse of the storm that's coming, a look into the darkness. They were all there. Everyone who was climbing out of the box to pester me now had a voice.

But with this new story, I was able to develop the plot lines, map them out and then line them up with Eve, following the arc of her story so that each character is in the right place at the right time, allowing them to merge with Eve's story naturally.

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Author Miranda Nading lives in Southern Nevada with her husband. When not writing, she enjoys diving, exploring, and generally getting up to mischief. Author of thrillers Echoes of Harmony, Caliban, Canyon Echoes, Miranda is excited to announce her new SF Apocalyptic series, Extinction.


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