The side story?

In some of my work, notably The Message, I wrote tons and tons of words that didn’t get used. Not because they were cut for reasons of length or quality. I wrote them with the full intention of never putting them in the book. Why?

The Message is in first-person, for a start. I wanted it to be seen entirely from the point of view of one of the two protagonists. However, the antagonist–that’s right, the bad guy–is an extremely important character and one that would ultimately be sympathetic as well. So what I did, in order to fully hear his voice and his story as well as my main characters’ voices, was tell his story from his point of view. It didn’t go into the novel in its completed form, but it had a huge influence on the way the character dynamic, and allowed me to show the reader a fully-fleshed bad guy.

Anybody else work this way?


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