When I started writing "Second Chances", Nattly's voice just fell onto the page, without even trying. It was one of those beautiful moments in writing when even I didn't know where it came from. And through her voice, Faerci, Papa, Cook, Havrim, everything naturally settled into place. I simply looked through her eyes, and her world opened up to me. It’s a world that I’d like to explore more of in the future.
This was simultaneously one of the quickest and the slowest pieces I have ever written. I came up with the concept for it randomly while on a walk, spent two days mulling it over and outlining (between studying for my actuarial exam, which is what I was supposed to be doing), and then wrote the first draft within 24 hours (technically not of the same day). I was proud of that first draft, and a great deal of the story and voice carried through to the final version. But from there it went through countless critiques and drafts. The ending in particular was reworked several times. A whole character was cut. (Alas, you will never know Gisella.) It made semifinalist at Writers of the Future, after which I did my best to address K.D. Wentworth’s criticisms as well. Finally, the poor, dazed and confused thing found a home at IGMS.
I don’t know where the concept came from. Usually I can trace it, but this time I can’t. As it often goes, I felt as if I was discovering a world that already exists rather than actively inventing it. Every plot choice I nixed, every character who felt somehow off, simply wasn’t a part of that world, and I had to keep searching until I found it.
Asst. Editor’s note: When ‘Second Chances’ came to IGMS, it’s my opinion that it was NOT “poor, dazed and confused.” We don’t accept stories of that type; we’re not an orphanage.
--Scott M. Roberts, IGMS