So I’ve got an idea for a book.
Okay, I’ve got oodles of ideas for books… for those of you who have writer friends and you want to tell them an idea you had that they could write about? They’ve got plenty of ideas. Ideas are the easy part. But we’ll set that aside for now.
So, the problem I have with the idea that I want to write about right now is that it isn’t a FULL idea. I don’t have all of the pieces. I have an idea that I think will work well to hook the audience in, and which will force me to be more creative in the way I address certain things. I have ideas for characters that I like. They’re complicated, three dimensional (well, most of them) and well flawed.
The story itself I’m still working on, but that isn’t the hard part…
The hard part is the world building.
Please… don’t give me any advice, I’ve built worlds before. Plenty of them. I know tricks and tropes and techniques and… and… stuff. That’s not the problem. The problem is that I’ve got a fairly vast world, to which I have made a number of deep changes. The way time is measured is somewhat different than what we’re used to. The kinds of currency that are used is different. Certain expressions are very different.
All of which would be fine if I were writing this more traditionally, but I’m doing something a little bit different with perspective I’m writing this from. In order to introduce the narrator correctly, I sort of have to ask the reader to take a couple of leaps of faith with me.
But you can only ask for so many leaps of faith. You have to give the reader a place to start, a foundation from which to understand the story.
In the end I realized that the only way I could figure out where to begin, was to start in the wrong spot, go as far as I could go, then look back and figure out where I should have started instead.
It’s kind of frustrating. I’m going to write three or four chapters that will all be thrown out just as soon as I figure out what I need to figure out here. But it’s exciting too. I can really go for it, I don’t have to worry about making everything comprehensible, or getting the terms just right. I just have to pick up the bat and swing for the fences.
Go forward, so I can go backwards, so I can go forwards. Maybe I’m biting off more than I’m ready to chew, with this project. Maybe if I waited a couple of years and tried again it would flow perfectly and easily.
Then again, you never make progress if you only do what’s easy. The more you struggle with a project, the more you have to wrestle all the details into place, the more you learn and the better you are when you start something new. Right?