I am seized with a horrible desire to add a chatty AI house to the story we are currently writing. 60,000 words in and I want the house to talk to my protagonist.
It’s going to change the whole story. Worse, it will change the tone of the story and probably mean a massive rewrite.
I still want to do it.
First drafts are always exploratory, and they do change. We didn’t add Josune to Stars Uncharted until a later draft. Even so, adding Josune didn’t change the basic story.
My chatty AI will.
Outside of writing, I’ve been re-reading some of the Diana Wynne Jones books. Not so much the ones I read and reread in my earlier years like the Chrestomanci books, Howl’s Moving Castle and Dogsbody, but the ones I never read as often. Deep Secret, The Merlin Conspiracy and The House of Many Ways so far. I’m enjoying them.
These are her books for older children. There’s even a little romance in some of them. I don’t know if it’s true, but I always imagine that the age she was writing for increased as her children grew up, and then when her grandchildren started to get old enough to read, she started writing for them, because her later books were for younger readers again.
I used to think no-one, but no-one, could tell a story like Diana Wynne Jones.
Naturally, I’m wrong. DWJ is a grand master, of course, but there are plenty of good writers out there who tell stories in similar ways. A quick glance at my Kindle shows me Sage Blackwood’s Jinx, T. Kingfisher’s A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, Sarah Prineas’ The Lost Books and Kari Maaren’s Weave a Circle Round, to name a few.