It’s worse than that, he’s dead, Jim!
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It’s a horrible feeling.
Well, not really. But it should be. There’s a little guilt at abandoning the child of my mind, but not nearly as much as I think there ought to be. You see, I’m thirty-one thousand words into a novel that I don’t want to finish writing. The story is boring me, and that’s not a good thing.
I’d originally thought to just take a week off from the novel, let it rest a bit and come back fresh, but this is the eighth day in a row I haven’t touched it and I still don’t feel any desire to go further with it. Sixteen of thirty chapters complete, the original vision was part Norse mythology, part science fiction, part heroic quest, part conspiracy. A bit of a genre bender but that made the initial concept fun.
When did it stop being fun? I’m not sure it’s been consistently fun since I started it on New Year’s Day. Out of the sixteen completed chapters, there are three that I absolutely love (even if they do need some work), five that I think are pretty good, and eight that I had to force my way through. I don’t mind writing being hard work, but I want the keyboard anguish to mean something to me even if it’s on a story no one else will ever see. I’m not getting enough of that from this project. The story should excite me, or at least interest me, otherwise there’s no point. Boredom and frustration, that’s what I’m getting. No good.
So I’ve circled back around to what should be a horrible feeling but isn’t. I’ve decided to abandon this story, or put it away for a long time, at least. In its current form, I don’t want to finish it. I don’t want to go any further with it at all. Maybe six months or a year from now, I’ll take the pieces I like and build something new out of it, or maybe I’ll decide it’s worth finishing after all, but for now this project is dead.
I don’t lack for stories to tell. My head is always full of ideas clamouring to get out and I probably won’t live long enough to tell all the stories I want to right now, never mind the decades of ideas to come. I do have a lot of short fiction planned for the next several months, but there are two bigger things jabbing me in the brain.
About a year and a half ago, during a long stretch of night shifts, I got into watching some fan created Star Trek video. There’s a lot of it out there and while most of it is full of suck, some is actually pretty good. I started wondering what kind of Star Trek episode or film I’d write and, over time, in something approaching actual screenplay format, created a Trek story designed as an Original Series episode running about fifty pages. I let exactly one person read it, then filed it away. For some reason, I pulled it out recently and read it. There are problems with the characters and consistency of voice, but the story is actually pretty good. I feel the need to expand it and smooth it out a little. Don’t know if it’ll actually go anywhere, but it seems like it’ll be fun.
The other potential project is much bigger, an epic fantasy story I’ve been world building and plotting for a little while that’s begun to haunt my dreams. Whole scenes exist inside my head springing nearly complete out of my imagination. This one excites me in a way none of my previous novel-length projects have. I need to write this story and I think that’s the best reason to write.