Today's new release is a debut novel, Spawning Ground by Kevin Cockle. He's got seventeen short stories out there, a screenplay, and an Aurora nomination. Spawning Ground is his first novel, and here's one thing he learned during the writing:
“Spawning Ground” being my first novel, the list of things I learned in the process of writing it is pretty long. That I could write long-form narrative at all. That you need to trust your writing: can’t be second-guessing every sentence and word choice if you’re going to finish. But technically, if there’s one tangible step I took that I’d do again - and that might be of use to others - it’s the fact that I wrote SG as a screenplay first.
Movies are external and visual - novels are about the interior lives of characters - but still: a screenplay is basically a structured outline. “Spawning Ground” started out as a short story (very interior; no act structure) which I wound up optioning to a local film company. Adapting a short story for a feature film was a really useful exercise in terms of structure and narrative, which was important, since I was trying to create a compact genre thriller. Characters and neat speculative ideas weren’t going to be enough: the thing had to have momentum; readers needed to have reasons to turn pages. Plus it’s a lot easier to tweak and re-write a screenplay than it is a novel. The logistics just made sense.
Having the screenplay in front of me made the writing of the novel a matter of disciplined execution. No staring at a blank page and trying to think of something: the actual creative work had all been done. I knew where I was going, which made getting there a lot easier. The whole process made me more professional in approach than I otherwise would have been. And it worked, which is the main thing.
About Spawning Ground:
Genetic perfection has a price: a brutal Darwinian contest of strength and cunning to determine which bloodlines will continue, and dominate.
When Sarah Wheeler’s Spawning Contest is rigged, her breeding and training will be put to the ultimate test.
Find out more about Kevin