Thursday, April 2, 2009

Requiem for a Novel

As a writer - not yet an author - I find myself standing on the brink of a precipice.

My original vision has expired. I have fulfilled it to the best of my ability. It isn't fantastic, but then, I never expected it to be. I never really expected it to be anything at all.

It is, at its best, only an incomplete glimpse of the true story underneath. It glitters faintly on the surface but the hidden geode, with all its color and facets, has yet to be cracked open.

I have five characters whose lives are inextricably intertwined. I have a world that breathes and lives in its own sphere. I have creatures that are both similar to and entirely different from any I've seen or imagined before. I have part of a new language that patters its rhythms in my head like rain.

I have 80,060 words arranged into thirty-two badly written chapters within one poorly structured novel.

Like a phoenix, this needs to be reduced to ashes and reborn. But there isn't time now for me to do it. It's taken two years to get this far, and I'm exceptionally proud of what I have accomplished. But it could be so much more.

I am letting it go. Faldur, Marenya, Raynor, Melbrinor and Pelwyn... farewell. You are free to be yourselves, whomever you turn out to be. I will find out one day, but it won't be today, nor tomorrow, nor next week. It will be when I finally have the time and mental energy to make the vision complete. I have to stop this hectic half-life I am living, that does no good for anyone, especially not me. Obsession is a poor bedfellow, and a worse friend.

Until we meet again - and we will - Aden fath. Have faith.

Neuschwanstein castle from Marienbruecke, Bavaria, Germany


Myra said...

Rest in the fact that the One who leads you will bring you back to your story in His good time.

And even if you don't get to write as much or as often as you want - DON'T STOP WRITING.

Mitch Wallace said...

I can definitely feel where you're coming from. I'm kind of at a similar point with my novel - I was supposed to be done with the third draft of it today (my self-imposed deadline), but the last few weeks of writing have been like pulling teeth. I think it's because I've lived with the story for going on eight months now and it's all starting to read like garbage to me.

So, for the first time in months, I didn't write a single word today. I'm going to take a break for a while and come back to the manuscript, hopefully with fresh ideas. I'm just totally burned out! Ack!

But I must say, from what little of your story that I've read, I can't imagine your book being anything but beautifully written. Perhaps it's just one of those perspective things, you know? Like you're too close to the project to see it with objective eyes.

Regardless, I hear you completely on the obsession thing, and it's a bitch. It just reared its ugly head at my work, and I know how crippling it can be. I really hope that you'll find the time and energy to come back to your stuff and finish it soon. I'm sure it'll rock!