I needed to challenge myself and my writing.
The story lines of Stronger Than This are revealed to the reader in multiple forms: text messages, letters, online chats, memos, interviews, and more. This posed many creative challenges, specifically the substantial lack of dialogue (which, if used correctly, can move a story forward quickly). As the novel features two protagonists (one male and one female), I had to establish significant differences in their “voices” and try to capture each in every form of communication they used throughout the book.
The writing process was a fascinating one. Constantly I discovered new means to reveal important plot points, establish place and time, and create characters that were as authentic possible. I also found ways to tell the story from the perspective of the supporting characters. By doing so, it added to the universe I was building for my two main characters; how others viewed them was equally important to their development on page.
Looking back, I’m pleased I made the decision to challenge myself as a writer. In doing so, I discovered a new passion for what I do. Writing Stronger Than This certainly kept me on my toes each step of the way. But the entire journey is one I am grateful for. The result is a book that is unconventional and unique, much like the characters whose lives fill the pages.
I don’t have any immediate plans to write another novel in this form. However, I do find myself examining form – and the possibilities that can occur by experimenting with it – with every new project I embark on.