I’m still writing on the chapter “Who is Tova” and I’ve written about 9,895 words so far. Usually, writing new material consists of three passes. In the first pass, you get as many details as you can down, quirks of speech, behaviors, and strong emotional events. During the second pass, you ask, “What are the characters thinking while this stuff is going on?” and you write down their thoughts. The third pass is where you bring out the people’s emotions. This can be done with body language, how they speak, and by describing the atmospherics of the environment they are in. Right now, I am in the first pass on this chapter. I am fighting the internal confidence battle of thinking people won’t want to read all this stuff versus trying to get a fully satisfying emotional picture of not only where Tova came from but who she is as a person, her emotional rhythm, if you will. At the various stages of her life, you want to see her dominate personality traits present and their development as she develops.
There is a lot to tell about Tova, since I have had a chance to develop and experiment with her character in four other books I have written. The challenge will be to make the reader feel her as a person, something that pulls at their heart but also causes an internal conflict in the reader because the endearing girl is also a butcher in the name of science.
In the following excerpt, Tova is eight years old and she is interacting first with her mother and then her father. Where this is going is that soon, she is going to demonstrate skills that are beyond even a human prodigy. Those skills, combined with the power within her, make her terrifying, especially as she learns a little about her powers. Since those powers are just a part of her—she is not a human plus powers, but a creature whose powers are as natural to her as moving a finger—that means that other people could grow very frightened of her since she or her parents are not frightened by her powers at all. They are just normal.