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Writing in Layers

The first draft of Time’s Illusion is nearing completion. And the next step? You’d think it was editing, right? Nope. It’s layering.

When we write, we look at the first draft as the basic structure of the book. It establishes where the action is, who is present, how the characters move through the story. A bare-bones, action-and-dialogue scenario. A lot of experimenting goes on in our first drafts, a testing of story boundaries and character limits.

Upon this base we add layers. This process fleshes out the details that really bring the tale to life. Descriptions are expanded. Dialogue is enhanced. This is the five-senses phase, when we get to play with color, sound, and sensation. Like a stage production, we decide what our characters will be wearing, we paint the scenery, adjust the lighting. The worlds we have created come alive.

For those who aren’t into play production, think of it as baking a cake. The cake itself is the basic story. The icing holds the story layers together. The fancy flourishes give the tale depth and beauty. When it is complete it is a feast for the eyes. It smells delicious. Your mouth waters in anticipation. The first bite makes you want to take a second bite.

Just like a good book.

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