Thursday, October 10, 2013

Evolving Fantasies

Every book I've ever written started out as a fantasy of mine.  No, I don't mean that I was hoping in any way for my family to be killed or for the world to end, but rather that these were daydreams I had at some point that I wanted flushed out into greater stories.  I always have great initial visions of how these will work out, and the final product is just a few keystrokes away.

However, it doesn't always work out like that.

None of the stories I've imagined ever end up like how they began.  It can be challenging at times when you realize that the way you first thought a story would go won't work.  Many times I've found myself saying that I should just write it the way I first envisioned, and to hell with the consequences.  Then my more sane side comes in - yes, I have one of those, buried deep though it is - and reminds me that good stories evolve over time as they become more fleshed out.
(Requires more cooking to become a man)
Several parts of Salvation Day looked different in my mind's eye than they looked once they got on paper.  When initially envisioned, they looked so clean and polished, but when it came time to write them, the way I thought they'd be no longer fit the story.  Yes, the basics remained, but I had very specific visions, and now those visions had to be altered if the book was to make sense.

It's hard to give up our visions sometimes.  It's like giving up a child - we have definite plans, as well as a path forward for that which we've reared.  Sometimes, though, that child has its own dreams, and its final path looks much different than what the parent thought it would be.  That can make us wonder whether it's worth it sometimes, but once we accept that the end result will likely be better than what we thought in the first place, it can be enormous fun.

My next challenge in this regard is going to be the novel I plan to start in January.  It's an apocalyptic thriller called The Onyx Cluster, and the story has been floating around my brain for the better part of ten years.  It has changed a little over time, but I know it's going to go down wells I didn't even know were there.  Sometimes it feels like abandoning a friend when I have to change the vision, but there's always a better friend waiting at the end of the road.  Therefore I face the coming prospect with both trepidation and excitement.  Who knows what the future will bring!

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