Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dear Charlie:

Oi! Two posts in two days. No, I haven't discovered I have cancer.

I simply stumbled across one of my old stories this afternoon while idly paging through my computer files my astonishment...found myself so hooked that I had to read the whole thing.

Remember that trilogy I was dinking around with when I first started this blog? When was that...back in 2004? Ay carumba. How the time flies. At any rate, I'd finished two of the three books and was well into the third when I decided that my style needed an overhaul.

I took some time off of the trilogy to write some short stories. Even got a couple published, though only one is still available for your reading pleasure, as the other e-zine closed down so fully that even the website is no longer available. And I did improve my style. More concise. More...conversational, I think.

Admittedly, I've finished one full and started at least five other books since then, but in the back of my mind was always this niggling little voice that said the trilogy wasn't a complete loss. Yes, I'd learned in my absence, but surely that could only make the story better now, right?

So, a year or so ago, I started a new document with a new focus. Brevity. Action. Comedy. These are my strengths. I would revamp the story with these elements, and it would be better for the lack of long-winded battle descriptions that no one but me found fascinating. Better without the fumbling attempts to analyze feelings, to get across the background without telling. Better all around.

And for all my improvements, I didn't get past the first five chapters before the siren song of a different novel snared me.

Don't get me wrong. The heroes are now more complex (though I gotta admit I did a pretty good job with them before). The heroine is less Mary Sue, less sweet, and far less likely to end up on the editing room floor, drowning in a sea of red ink. I'm getting to the point with far less exposition than before, which will only make the final story better and give me that much more backstory to play with later.

But for all I opened the original file today, looking for a specific part in the second book that I wanted to laugh over, I found myself actually reading instead of skimming for the right part. Marveling that such complexity came from my head without me remembering it. Staring at so many threads winding around each other, coming around full circle closer and closer at each switch in point of view. Remembering parts from the first book that bore on this or that situation.

Enjoying myself, in other words. I'm a little astonished.

I mean, it surely needs work, but...perhaps not as much as I'd thought. The story is there, and it's far more broad-reaching than I remembered. There are so many characters, some lightyears away, that bear fully on the plot. There are so many intrigues, so many layers of history and mistrust and tyranny and hate. So much...story.

In a way, I guess I'm saying that this story is to me what the Shanhasson stories are to my sister. These are the words I cut my teeth on. The first characters that mattered enough to me to want to finish their tales. Their struggle still haunts me, still compels me to write.

I might...just might...have to give in to that siren song. After all, I finished up the second book and plowed back through the first, all in one lazy afternoon. And the unfinished third, as well. They read fast, for all that they're incredibly too long. That, in and of itself, is something.

I guess there's no point to this post other than expressing my surprise that these old, dear friends are still so...true. They still hold such fascination for me. And their story must be told to its full -- including how they ended up here in the first place, which I'm tempted to write first. That was supposed to be a possible fourth novel if the first three ever did well, because I figured at least a few people would be curious about my beloved planet Ino and its inhabitants.

I know I am.

But this is all speculation. Maybe just the drive to get back into any writing after such a stressful, non-creative period at work. And maybe the story isn't half so fun as I think it, but hey. As long as I'm writing for me, anyway, I might as well enjoy myself.

So, I might just drag the old friends out for some ass-kickery. For old times' sake. See what happens.



At 10:09 PM, Blogger Joely Sue Burkhart said...

YAY! I'm so glad you're looking at the trilogy again! You had some great story there.


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