Out of that grueling NANO SFD, there was only one story kernel I kept - the UFO connection.
I got hooked. No, let's be honest, I became obsessed. And teaching writing to some really brilliant writers made me analyze and re-analyze my own plot, characters, story structure, word choice, author intrusion, implied author voice, dialogue, setting, motivation-reaction units, scenes, chapter length, grammar, and . . . yes . . . even the white space on the pages.
And then there was all the research! Since UFO sightings and abductions are a major part of the story, I wanted those incidents to be as accurate as possible and based on real events. My story takes place in 1952, and I needed to research the styles, the cars, and the family dynamics of the time. The backstory concerns events that occur December 7, 1941, and that took more research. And then there's Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Einstein and the atomic bomb and the space/time continuum and . . . well, you get the idea, right?
In addition, I wanted my book to be a contemporary Alice in Wonderland story. I even dedicated the novel to Alice who first fell down the rabbit hole.
That's not all. I had it edited for content, characterization, and structure. I had three incredibly bright teen readers who helped me keep my head screwed on straight and gave me some ideas I incorporated into the story. I had a science editor check the facts since the story is crammed with science. And then I had that tireless critic on my shoulder—you know the one—the nag that won't let me forget I'm only human and have no superpowers at all.
And there you have it.
Except there was all that revision, revision, revision! And more revision. And the complication of separating the dreams from reality in the story and . . .