I can’t remember when I first had the idea for Sylvia, or even when I first started pre-writing/planning her. I do recollect sitting in the Cathedral grounds, last summer, trying to work it out. By ‘it’ I mean what, exactly, this ‘novel’ would be about. I think it was then, in an hour split between shifts at The Glasshouse, that I first decided it would focus on the relationship between Sylvia and Dylan (although, at this point, neither had a name). Perhaps it was even then that I introduced Sylvia in the first place (the idea had been for an everyman novel).
Whenever I first conceived of this ‘everyman novel’ it was a while until I thought any more about it. When I did, the transformation from everyman to every-man-and-woman was swift. A few paragraphs of thinking on paper, perhaps.
After that it was a case of name-choosing (Sylvia’s was easy but Dylan started off as Douglas); internal monologues, in the voice of each character, and interviews. Basically, I wanted to get to know them better before I began any actual writing.
Then, what with the sinusitis followed by the big move to Scotland and the start of the MLitt, I put the whole thing on hold. And, when I decided that I’d be going for NaNoWriMo, I resolved to not touch it at all until then. Not on paper anyway. I must have given it some thought, though, because at some point between choosing to do NaNo and hitting November, I’d decided to write Sylvia in random fragments, i.e. not in any particular order, almost as self-contained short stories. This was rather convenient since I had no plot at this point.
To be honest, though, I’m not sure I do now.
Next week, find out how I got on in NaNoWriMo.