Behind The Scenes: The History Of Project Renovatio

This post is full of secrets and spoilers. It also includes snippets of drafts from the very beginning of my writing practice. So, you know . . . I was learning. *clears throat*

Project Renovatio has a longer history than my other books. In fact, it was the first novel I completed. It was not the first novel I started. In a couple of interviews (including this one), I’ve been asked how I got the idea for the story. The answer is the characters came first – about a year before the plot did. I plugged them into four other stories that weren’t theirs before I found the right one.

One involved Rana in a hostel.

PR origin 1

That same draft involved a backstory in rural Texas.

PR origin 2

Reckon. Ugh.

Another draft took place in Denver in the early 1900s.

PR origin 3

A couple of later drafts more closely resembled the present-day PR, at least in the beginning. I decided the kids had a secret missing father but hadn’t landed on the genetic engineering aspect yet. When I got that idea, it hit me like a brick in the face. I knew that was their story. But it happened when I was at work, and I had to repeat it to myself for over an hour before I could write it down.

Once that happened, apparently I wrote a lot. I found this notebook as I was cleaning out a storage ottoman last week. It totally destroyed my belief that I’m more of a pantser.

photo 1

This is Levin’s character outline.

photo 2

This is a chapter outline. Also, it’s green for some reason.

photo 3

This one was broken up into acts. Thank God I found a blue pen.

This went on for pages and pages and pages.

Eventually, it all came together and I learned how to write. And after a bumpy road that took a few years to traverse, Project Renovatio became a real-life book in April, 2016.

I hope you enjoyed reading how PR developed. What kinds of things would you like to see/questions would you like answered in future Bonus Material posts? 


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