Sesskia’s Diary: An Introduction

The story that became Sesskia’s Diary was something I played with for about a year without getting much further than the opening scenes: a woman appearing in a vast cavern, surrounded by people who don’t speak her language, possessing an unusual magic and therefore fought over by several factions who want her power for themselves. It seemed like it had potential, but I couldn’t make it work. Then, sometime in July of 2014, I had a stray thought: what if I told this not only from my heroine’s point of view, but as the diary she keeps during her travels? I’m certainly not the first to think of this, so I’m not claiming to be marvelously original, but somehow it struck me as exactly what I needed for this story. I wrote a few “entries” as an experiment, and a week later the story began to flow. It was a fascinating experiment, and when I started keeping a regular blog, it occurred to me that it might be fun to publish it as a serial on the blog. And here we are.

Just to avoid confusion, I’ll explain that yes, book six is where the story begins, and you’re not missing five other books. It will become clear very quickly why the story begins where it does. Also, some of Sesskia’s entries are very long, and may be divided by me into shorter pieces for ease of reading. Aside from that, I’m going to let Sesskia’s story unfold the way she wrote it.

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2 thoughts on “Sesskia’s Diary: An Introduction”

  1. I read all of Sesskia’s posts on Saturday; they are fantastic (I LOVED Höst’s Stray too). I’ll be sweating on the rest of them too. While I wait for the next one, I’m coming back to the first and now I’m wondering how the experience of creating it as a journal is different (or possibly no different) for you as an author relating to your protagonists’ experience compared with doing it as a conventional novel. And how does it compare with the style you used for Zara’s novella?

    Thanks for this. If you publish it in a book (ebook), I’ll buy it because I think this is very re-readable.
    Anne-Marie

    1. I’m so glad you enjoy it! Writing this as a journal is a very different experience for me. I feel attached to Sesskia in a way I don’t to my other protagonists–which isn’t to say I don’t love them, just that the journal has been immersive in a way a novel isn’t. The story comes more easily, and Sesskia’s voice is strong enough that I find I don’t have to do much rewriting, except to make corrections when I forget certain details. When I’m writing a more conventional novel, I’m more conscious of it as having structure. Sesskia’s diary does have an ending, and I intend to publish it as an ebook someday, but it feels more fluid than my other books. Zara’s novella is probably the most structured thing I’ve written, because the individual stories had to move her character forward, but they also had to relate to each other in a meaningful way. There’s how each takes place in a different season, and the recurring image of the loom, and how Zara changes over time, and it all had to fit together. So in a way, it’s the opposite of Sesskia’s diary, which just flowed from the beginning with very few hitches. It’s been fun to be able to experiment with different styles.

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