As Cassia took on her own voice in the later revisions of What’s Left, she seemed to be dictating her lines, leaving me with the task of taking dictation. There were many times I could barely keep up.
It was a weird sensation. Wasn’t I supposed to be in charge here? It was like I was channeling her from somewhere in the spirit world.
Weirder yet was my envy for her ability to speak as openly and directly as she does. As caustically, too.
Well, she does bear a resemblance to an older woman I know of in the next town, one fondly called simply as Auntie with an outrageous fearlessness in speaking that way.
In contrast, here I am usually censoring myself or at least editing my utterances.
Of course, I also envy Cassia her close-knit family with its well-defined purpose and supportive network. Her Squad, especially, and the way it, too, evolved in the revisions.
And I am grateful for the ways she’s helped me recast the earlier novels leading up to her appearance. That, too, has felt weird, having her sit beside me, in effect, while we thoroughly reworked them. She trashed a lot of material, I’ll admit, and then added a lot more new stuff of her own.
This time, I was all ears.
Authors are advised to know their readers – their target audience – but this takes it one step further.
Any of you have a similar experience?