Square One

I made a difficult choice this week. It was one that I’d been mulling over for the last several weeks.

For two years now, either mentally or physically, I’ve been working on this new sci-fi conspiracy thriller. I’d been world building, developing characters and backstories, mapping out how the story would go. I even went so far as to decide it would be too sprawling an epic to be told in one book and planned on having it broken into three. The problem, or one of the problems rather, is that I kind of lost myself. Over the last year I’ve been readingĀ The Expanse series of books by SA Corey; Game of Thrones in space for lack of a better comparison. The comparison works in way of story construction and also of style.

Now, nearly all writers are mimics; we read as much as we can from authors writing in all sorts of styles and genres. We find attributes that we admire and steal bits of their tools for our own. This happened to me to where I started writing like someone other than myself. The other problem was that I was writing a thriller but as a mystery writer. It pulled me away from the story I wanted to tell. Even worse, I got fucking bored. Nothing I was putting on paper excited me. It made me think that if I didn’t find it interesting then how on earth could a reader?

But I was over 200 hand written pages in! This first draft was almost done! What was I to do?

I scrapped it. It’s still a story I want to write. But, damnit, I need to do it better. Wednesday night I sat down and started at page one again. Same characters, same overall story. Just hopefully done better. Move this over here, make this guy this type of guy, and so on and so forth.

It’s kind of daunting to go back to stage one with this thing but, after talking it over with my confidants and long suffering editor of 25 years, I feel good about this. It feels right.

I just finished the first chapter. Time to make writing fun again, kids.