I once wrote a novel about a young American man in West Berlin falling in love with a young Russian man.

Before I started writing I constructed a detailed family history for both of them. I knew that would be important because it would shape how they would interact with each other coming from different systems of values.

I referred back to it many times, and by the third Act, it turned out that the Russian man’s family became very important players in the story.

I hadn’t intended that when I first imagined the novel, but the character work I had done beforehand made implementing it really easy and natural.

It also meant I didn’t have to go back and rewrite a bunch of stuff to make it match the third act.

It already fit, because I’d created and peopled my universe before writing.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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