Part of the trouble with writing a new book involves unlayering a new side of yourself, a thinking you’ve never tried. These characters haven’t existed before in this way, for this book, and the sole place to look them up is inside, in the foggy places.
For me, it’s like meeting an unknown version of myself and gradually becoming her. My Vault 2 people are back there in my mind. I saw their exterior actions and speeches when they showed up in the first draft, but now as I return to those pages, I find that some of their conversations are empty. They were exploratory, searching exchanges between forming people, written by a me who barely knew them. Those people were the best I could manage at the time, but they were far from real. I thought I knew what they wanted, but I only knew part of their motivations.
This must be progress, because I see clearly what my characters ought to be saying instead, or I see that the conversations need to be cut entirely. Mary Pearson (The Kiss of Deception) reminded me lately that the beauty of drafts is that we don’t have to have everything figured out all at once. How true.
This is a stage of trust and curiosity, and my goal is to work one layer closer to the truth.