Blog Post Number 47 Written: 07-20-21 Uploaded: 02-24-2023
I think, I may have already covered this topic, but it is on my list of things to do. So I am doing it here, possibly again. My previous mentioning of it was probably tangential, I am bad at that.
I had been kicking the idea for a book around for a while, trying to make this sci-fi thing work, but it all felt too shallow, it was lacking something, some extra bit of crazy was needed to try and make it the same level of conflict as other sci-fi books I had read. The Universe I was building didn’t feel right, it wasn’t powerful enough, it wasn’t unique enough. I wasn’t sure what it needed, but it needed something. More types of aliens? More savage aliens? More people dying? More technology? I wasn’t sure, Couldn’t make up my mind. I hadn’t written anything yet, but none of the ideas I was putting through my mental filter were passing the test.
After a couple months of moderate deliberation, I shelved the idea, and there it sat for a couple more months. I tried some other sci-fi ideas, but they were even less complete than the one I had shelved. I felt defeated, dejected and decided maybe I wasn’t cut out to write sci-fi and I should just go back to fantasy, where I had started writing before I discovered BattleTech. It felt like surrender, a dirty retreat back to what I read in my childhood, and not what at the time I was convinced was the best, most respectable, and highest form of literature, Hard Science Fiction. (Yes I understand all literature is equally good, that was just my personal Bias at the time.)
I tossed around a few basic fantasy ideas, but didn’t have any good characters, and considered re-using my characters I had developed for my now canceled sci-fi story, or at least their names and personalities. But that idea didn’t last very long either, not more than an hour or two. It felt even worse. Fantasy feels like it has been more overdone than Sci-Fi, it’s hard to have different kinds of elves, dwarves, dragons, etc. Those character archetypes are very well established and I had a hard time making up my own fantasy creatures that didn’t just sound like those same things just with different names. In disappointment, I mused to myself that I should just combine the two ideas to make one whole idea.
That struck me like a venomous snake. At the time I thought I had invented a whole new genre, Science Fantasy. By the end of the week, I had it all plotted out, and before the end of the month, I had started writing. And the words just came. It all vomited out, my keyboard had Diarrhea for lack of a more artful way to put it. I wrote a sixty thousand word novel, in fourteen days. (seven consecutive weekends. I was on night shift at the hangar and too tired during the week to write coherently.) I spent a year editing it, and it got accepted by an indie publisher on the very first submissions I made. I guess it was a decent idea after all. I hope the sequel pushes the series to new heights.
P.S. since this was written, the Indie press I was working with has shut their doors due to lack of staff, and I have edited a new second edition of The Descendant, now called Altar of Scales, and I am querying agents to got to bigger more wide reaching publishers.