Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How the Colors of Time Were Born

Recently, someone asked me how I came up with the idea for the Colors of Time. I thought if one person asked, other people might be interested as well, so here’s the story.

When I first began writing Screwing Up Time, I thought Miranda was a ghost. But it didn’t take long before she told me that she was a traveler through time. Immediately, I began to wonder how she traveled and what her experience would be. Since alchemy, which seems strange and mystical to us, was the science of Miranda’s day, it seemed only natural that an elixir would transport her.

And then, I wondered what the physical experience of traveling through time would be like. So I closed my eyes and became Miranda. I felt time passing me, its touch against my skin. And I saw the seasons pass in white winter, green spring, red summer, and orange brown autumn. But the colors weren’t just visual experiences of light, they had tremendous intensity. And I began to question what they were like. Did they have being? Volition? What if they were violated? How would they express their anger? What would restrain them?

And the colors of time were born.

I love the colors. I love the dimensionality they bring to the setting. Anything is possible. But writing the colors of time is difficult. Creatively, it’s very demanding because of the intensity of the experience, which needs to be different every time.
In writing first drafts, I give the scenes with the colors only a cursory sketch. When I go back to edit, I find all the colors of time scenes in each book I’ve written and make sure the new sketches are fresh. Then, I close my eyes and go through the colors with Mark and Miranda. And then, I share their experiences with you.

Book 3 Update. I’m almost 20,000 words into book 3 of the Screwing Up Time series. Most first drafts that I write are usually 50,000 (with final drafts ending at 75,000 to 80,000 words). So I’m almost halfway. Though the Christmas holidays will probably cut into my writing quite a bit. 


  1. Just picked up your first book, looking forward to reading about time travel.

  2. Very interesting to learn about this process Connie. Writers are not only creative, they are thorough!

  3. I love hearing how you came up with the story. Brilliant! What an imagination you have. I too have to put myself in the shoes of my characters and try to think about what experiences feel like for them. Sometimes I have to talk it all out loud, which is probably strange but works like a charm!