Man, I can’t believe the last time I posted on this site was early August. A lot has changed since then! School’s started, and Camp NaNoWriMo has ended, and between the two I haven’t been able to write or blog in general–so apologies there. I really hope to get this site going again, but it’s looking like even weekly posts might be a bit much.
Of the things that have happened recently, the saddest has got to be that I ditched Frontier. As in, I stopped writing it, presumably for the foreseeable future. I realized that the plot wasn’t strong enough to finish the book, and that the characters were far too generic. I also had no idea where the story was going and found myself adding scenes, events, and chapters that didn’t add anything to the overall story. I’m not giving up though–I’ll start another project soon, and add it to my projects page once it’s underway.
I think the lesson I could take away from this is that almost nobody writes a bestseller on their first try. I was naïve enough to think that I was the exception to that rule. The thing is, though, I should have seen it coming. Frontier‘s basic storyline was something I came up with when I was nine or ten. I’ve experimented with it in three iterations, detailed on my projects page, but now I think I’ve realized that no amount of remodeling can turn a shack into a mansion–the square footage remains the same no matter what, and the square footage of my original idea, which I held to tenaciously and obstinately, is not good enough.
So I’m setting it aside. I’m not scrapping it–no reason the shack couldn’t eventually be grafted into some larger building–but I am shelving it. Mind, I’m not shelving the genre–science fiction is still and always will be my favorite subject matter to write about. I’m not entirely sure what the new story will be, but I’m hoping it will be epic. I’m thinking maybe something with about the same trippy-factor as Interstellar. That might be a little above my ability level, but I’m going to try my best.
That brings me to another point–just because I should have known Frontier would never be finished, (let alone published) that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have tried. It’s paradoxical, in a way. Even though I know that even this next project will probably not be a blockbuster, I still have to try. People say that failure is a good thing, and that gets some people into the mindset of Oh, ok, let me just not try on my first couple stories, and then, since I failed, I’ll automatically get better. No, that doesn’t work. The only way failure can be beneficial is if it really stinks.
Failure isn’t effective unless it makes you mad. Not mad at yourself for not being good enough, and not mad because you failed, but mad because of all the work you’ve lost. Why? Because if you’re mad about that lost work, it means you really cared about it. And it’s only when you care about it enough to scrap it, shelve it, or restart it that you really benefit from it.
That’s how I see stopping Frontier. I don’t want to. Between the three drafts, it means leaving (cumulatively) around 50 000 words of writing I used to be proud of behind. It makes me mad, because it seems like it was all a waste, but at the same time, I know what I’ve learned will best be applied on another project.
And with that,
P.S. Expect another post soon. I’ve got some news about the site coming up (hint: it’s going to expand)
P.P.S Also, stay tuned for the first update about my new science fiction project! Here’s hoping it works out!