Taking on Ensemble Casts

Good evening. Gigi here. How about that Covid-19? What a nasty thing! I’m sure you as well as my novelist have had to make unexpected and unpleasant alterations in your daily routine. Some of you may even be ill and others may have suffered through unimaginably horrific events. My novelist tells me she has never seen anything like this in her lifetime. Being a parti poodle at this point in history has been fortunate so far as we canines don’t seem to be suffering from this outbreak…except of course I cannot get my favorite treats. My novelist ventured out to the grocery store early this morning and found when she arrived there was a line longer than you’d find at the first showing of a Star Wars film. She took one look at the situation and turned around and came home. She located another place to procure my treats from, but I will have to wait a week for them to arrive. Luckily, she has enough in stock to carry me over until they do. On a more serious note however, I wish everyone health and hope and comfort during this bizarre and worrisome historical event.

Today my novelist is going to talk a little bit about her book series she is getting ready for publication. So, without further ado, here is my novelist.

Presently I’m preparing a book series I wrote to publish on Amazon. It’s one novel, actually…one very long novel. I gave myself a challenge a few years back to see if I could write a 500,000-word story in three years. And I did. It’s a satire and it was a lot of fun to write. In fact, the most fun I’ve ever had on any writing project. I’m editing it some so it may not be exactly 500,000 words but it will be close.

Because it’s difficult to sell a book the length of Atlas Shrugged or Infinite Jest these days I’ve decided to break said novel into several books. When I first took on the project initially, I thought it would be a challenge to pen because the story required an ensemble cast. Everything I’d written before had small casts as in two to four main characters. I thought there’s no way I’m ever writing an ensemble piece. But as it turned out it wasn’t as daunting as I anticipated.

What I learned about from writing a novel with a larger cast is as always to love the story and get to know the characters and how they interact with each other extremely well. I know there are some people out there who use index cards and white boards to keep all their characters straight, but you don’t have to. If you can immerse yourself in the story, it’s possible to get to know imaginary people on a deep level.

For me these characters are like old friends. I know what their voices sound like, what kind of clothes they wear, how their hair is styled, their little quirks and habits. It was a blast living in their world. I even visited some of the places they dwelled in the story and experienced those places through their eyes. I took a lot of pictures so I could see what they saw. For places I couldn’t revisit I rifled through photos online, so I knew what the buildings and locations were like and the layout inside. I found photos of their clothes, shoes, accessories, items they owned and used.

One of the more interesting challenges I encountered was providing them with different accents as they all came from different parts of the United States. I also had to learn some of the colloquialisms from around the country. For instance, if you are in the Northwest or Midwest you might say “pop” but in the Northeast you would say “soda” and in the southern states it would be “Coke”. And when I did these things, I had to be consistent throughout the story making sure each character was authentic in a whimsical way.  But after a while, it becomes second nature and you get used to it.  And it’s fun.

I will keep you posted as to when the first book is coming out and how many there will be in the series entire.  I will also be talking about my book Chicane doing analysis on it in the upcoming blogs.  I post every Thursday.  That is my schedule.   While you’re waiting for my next post you can check out Chicane currently available on Amazon.



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