From Within the Mind: Origins

In honor of the three months since An Absolute Mind came out, this month, I shall be doing a weekly series of behind-the-scenes glimpses at the process and the decisions made with the creation of the novel. Be careful for potential spoilers if you haven’t read it yet, and I hope you enjoy.

It took roughly two and a half years for An Absolute Mind to go from notes and outlines scribbled in notebooks, to the novel that is available worldwide. However, the idea for it has been around a little bit longer than that, and it’s only been recently where I’m starting to reveal exactly how long.

In the past, I’ve spoken how I got the idea for my debut novel, A Moment’s Worth, a few months after one of my favorite authors/actors, Chris Colfer, had released his debut novel during the summer of 2012. What I hadn’t spoken too much about is that just prior to conceiving the idea for A Moment’s Worth, the idea for An Absolute Mind first spurred.

What some people might not know about me is that I have a very uncanny memory, and I think a lot of it has to do with keeping journals for nearly 15 years of my life. I have the ability to remember dates with minimal significance to them, what a person had said that they may have otherwise forgotten, an activity I did with someone from a previous encounter, etc. I considered this ability of mine, and then thought of how what it would be like if evolution advanced human memory for it to see the unbiased memories of significant objects upon physical contact.

I liked the idea and immediately started to pursue it, with the idea of making it a novel. Looking through early notes I had done for it, plot-wise, it was much more generic, as it followed the story of a character who had this unique ability, but wanted more than anything else to just be normal. On the other hand, the ability itself (which, at the time, didn’t have a name yet), was far more complex in how it worked, compared to what it is in the final version; complex enough to where even I had trouble making sense of it completely.

At the time, I didn’t plan for the story to be set in the future, there were no underground gangs out to kill people with this ability, there was no island to keep such people isolated from society, and so on. As quick as I came up with this idea, I was also quick to realize that this is far too complex for a 20-year-old who had never written a novel before to handle properly. So I decided to put it on the back burner for the time being, and instead went on to pursue the much more experimental A Moment’s Worth as my first endeavor into novel writing.

Fast forward to the spring of 2014, and I’m a few months away from my debut novel’s release. Knowing that I was nearing the end of my work on it, I began to think back again on the idea that I had conceived about a character with a unique memory. Originally, in my head for this idea, I had envisioned a conversation between a young man (who would later become Gian), attempting to make sense of his ability to a woman (who would become Amara) in a dimly lit room. In fact, there were thoughts while writing A Moment’s Worth about making this moment one of its interconnected stories.

Instead, I saved it, knowing that there was a much larger story to tell that I wouldn’t be able to do it justice in my first novel. I started primarily from scratch. I made the lead not a young man, but a young woman (though I saved the young man), for it seemed like the kind of story that would be much better told with a young woman as the lead. I toyed with its potential setting before finally settling for setting it in the future. I developed the society to be the antithesis of what one would otherwise read in a future-set novel nowadays, but made it clear that it’s not perfect either. I developed the kind of story that I didn’t expect to become so timely by the time of its release.

I also reworked the mental ability the protagonist, among others, have. I refocused it, made it simpler to understand how it works, what its story is, and so on. It helped that I looked back on old notes from psychology classes I had previously taken, and used it as a guide.

While the story in its entirety wasn’t fully formed by the time I started writing it on Christmas Eve 2014, I had the general plan for it, and everything else naturally fell into place to make it the story it is now.

An Absolute Mind is now available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & NobleCreateSpace, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, etc. If you read it, please leave a review, for they’re greatly appreciated and help me grow as a writer. Also, be sure to check out its Goodreads page, and feel free to leave any questions you have about the book.

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