The best book that never will be…

As if I didn’t have enough to do…I’m signing stuff for the Hollow World Kickstarter, going over editor changes for the Hollow World Kickstarter, writing blog posts for the Riyria Chronicles release, and trying to get to the end of Rhune (I’m pretty sure I’m at about 80% right now).  And in the midst of all of that a book came to me like a bolt of divine inspiration.

I guess I can thank Robin for it…we had spent a good portion of the day on a long bike ride and that is when I toss around a lot of my ideas.  But the long ride made my wife really tired so her snoring was in fine form.  So much so that it woke me up.  Usually I keep a pad by the side of the bed to make notes in and I sometimes wake and jot down a few.  But this…this was a full novel and I had to get it outlined.  So I actually got up, went to the computer, and essentially wrote the entire book.  It wasn’t “actually written” of course but the outline was extensive and complete. It was/is incredible.  Great commentary on the human condition, plot twists, character growth, a love story. I love it when all the pieces fit into place and the entire scope of the book lies before me.

In the “real morning” (because 3:00 am isn’t morning in any real sense) I spent some more time fully fleshing out the manuscript.  Then reality set in.  I couldn’t write this book. It required detailed knowledge in some aspects (certain religions and parts of the world) that I just didn’t posses.  Still the plot…the plot…was great.  I didn’t want to let it go.  So I wrote to a writer friend of mine who travels extensively and has lived in the parts of the world where the book would be set. I explained to him the plot, and my trepidation about not being able to write it without extensive research.  He confirmed what I had suspected, the idea was amazing…and no I couldn’t write it and probably never would be able to.

Still, I’m glad for the experience.  I liked the story I played out for myself and really enjoyed “reading it” even though it would never make it to paper.  I’m always amazed at how the human mind can make connections and put things together in creative ways.  I don’t regret the time I spent on it in the least. And besides, it’s not like I’m looking for more to write.

13 thoughts on “The best book that never will be…

  1. Why not collaborate? If you know someone who knows the things you don’t, isn’t that half the battle? Either way, don’t toss it. In five years you may find a way to make it happen. Heck, Stephen King started working on Under The Dome at the beginning of his career and then shelved it for a few decades. Sanderson did something similar with Way of Kings. I look forward to reading it someday!

  2. Michael, I hate to hear about a brilliant story dying on the vine like that. Why couldn’t you research and write about it? And those things you get wrong, that’s what people like your friend are for — to point them out so you can fix them. 🙂

      • I suppose we have to pick and choose our battles, especially if you’re supporting yourself on the writing. As you mentioned, nothing ever truly goes away, so maybe you’ll find a brilliant way to include some of the aspects in the books you do write.

  3. I so agree with Gunner and Phillip. Why not collaborate? Why not pool friends, acquaintances, readers, anyone …. It would be such a waste to leave behind a story like that!!

    • The truth is ideas are left behind all the time for various reasons. I have two completed novels that had been scheduled for publication and took me years to write and I’m not sure if they will ever see the light of day. Realizing the problems with this story now, and not writing it, is much better than the alternative which would be to spend months writing it just to find it arrive DOA.

      As for collaboration. Some people are great at this kind of thing. It’s just not how my creative process works. I’m pretty focused and opinionated and it would be difficult for me to let someone else into that process without just bullying them through my own strong opinions.

  4. It is disheartening, but better that you stop the project than produce something that YOU would not be happy with the outcome. I bet the story is an incredible one, and who knows maybe you’ll find ways to adapt it or include aspects into your next projects. Either way it has been enjoyable to go on this journey with you on your writing process as you worked on this story! .

    • I agree. I think I could be happy with it…but in my own ignorance it would “hold up.” The problem is there are people out there who know the facts much better than I do, and even with years of research I’d get things wrong and they would immediately see my mistakes..

  5. I think you should give it a go, you might be amazed with the results. Maybe you are just tired from writing your current book and the thought of another right now is just too much. Research is a natural part of writing. It just has to sound realistic not be real. I think you should write the idea down and have a think about it. But for the time being concentrate on the last 20% of the book you are writing. A friend of mine only started to be successful after writing their 15th book. You may like to bear that in mind and as that went back in time in another country they had to do research and lots of it. 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragement. But it’s really not that. There is research then there is RESEARCH. To do this right I would have to go overseas for an extended period of time and probably study various religions and cultures for 5 – 7 years. Even then I’d be ill equipped.

      In fantasy you can get away with things “seeming real” when writing something in “the real world” it must stand up to those people who live in those cultures daily.

      15 books is about right. I’ve written…23 books. Only 8 are published and 4 are waiting in the wings but the other 11 books were really merely practice.

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