Thursday, May 26, 2011

You can’t always control what you write, sometimes you don’t want to.

For example, I had planned to spend the first few months of this year working on The Second Succession, sequel to The Next Progression, and writing posts all the way along about it. Instead, I found myself, as I often do in January and February, tapping away at Horizon, that novel I love yet can never ever seem to make progress on. I made a little progress, in another ten years or so it should be finished.

After failing at Horizon again, I went into my annual lul. This happens about once a year, where I basically stop being able to write. If I force it, it comes out bad, sometimes you just can’t force this sort of thing(though I have found I can force pure gold in the face of a deadline). The lul typically consists of playing video games, watching movies, reading stuff, and eventually working through it. This time, I also devoted quite a bit of work to my wiki(which, like this blog, no one reads).

Having emerged from the lul, I find myself hard at work on The First Candle. If you count every iteration, this is by far the longest-running project I have ever worked on, and if I complete, well, that’ll just be wow. To put it mildly, this was my very first serious attempt at writing, started back in the late 90s. I have been working on this thing for over 13 years now, not consecutively of course. In fact, I wrote THE ENTIRE Course Books SERIES AND Author of the Gust AND The Next Progression in between bouts of working on this particular story, just so you know what I’ve been doing. Basically every other thing I’ve written has come in while working on this project.

It began as a laughable attempt at a novel, was abandoned for several years, and later resurrected as a short story. Like many of my earlier failures, the source material and characters were adopted into the Course Books mythos, even if the original stories were never completed and suck so horribly that I dare show them only to my closest confidants. The writing is terrible, but the basic premise is fine.

I consider the first attempt laughable because I started out on paper. Literally, I had a spiral-bound notebook I wrote in by hand(keep in mind: I cannot read my own handwriting). The pages were numbered, but since I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time, well, use your imagination. If you imagined single-spaced with no indenting and no paragraphs, you have an idea of about what a nightmare I went through going back and trying to work on it later. The practical upside was that I could(and did) work on it everywhere. The downside was, again, the work was basically useless.

I did revive the story some years later, working part from what I could read and part from memory, but eventually abandoned it again. The third revival saw me starting from scratch, using only the original characters and concepts, and finally adapting the story heavily to become a part of the main Course Books storyline. It’s still the original concept.

So the story basically refuses to die, and now it’s set to be one of my best works ever. Assuming I actually finish it, I’ve done about 15 new pages and have already begun to run out of steam. I actually really want to write another Hunter story right now.

Anyway, just sharing my thoughts as usual.

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