Tuesday, 14 October 2014

U-Turns, U-Turns Everywhere!

I've recently (about five minutes ago) noticed that I've not been paying much attention of late to my 'to-do' list. With Winter almost upon us, I'm aware that I have less than six months now to complete my list, and that's not much time at all given the size of the list and the fact that I envisaged at least one of those items to be novel-length.
Is it time to abandon the list? Well, maybe. I was perhaps not in the best frame of mind when writing said list. I had it in my head at the time: I have a couple of good stories, maybe those could be expanded upon. 

Of course any story can be expanded upon, but should it be? 

For example: when I wrote Licking Walls in the Dark, I wasn't writing it thinking that it was going to be a series. I wrote it as a standalone story, and expected to leave it at that.
Then 'greedy-head' S.J. came along with his suggestion that it might be more commercially successful (which it's not right now) if Walls was part of a series. If it was: readers would have in mind that they could give it a try and if they liked it there was more to come. That was really my only motivation for saying that I would do another one. Now that I've had time to think about it I've decided that 'commercial success' is no basis for making decisions about art, so I'm sorry to say that it seems doubtful that there will be anymore Pon stories for at least the foreseeable future.
A new Finegold story on the other hand: maybe, just maybe that could be on the cards. However, it's not a priority right now, as I have another character who has piqued my interest: Worm. My latest novel, Worm: Demon Attorney at Law is sitting at 70k words with just over 10k (best guess) to go. That's my priority just now, to further the Worm line of stories, because he's a solid character, and I could write about him all day and night whether there's any chance of commercial success or not. And isn't that what writing is all about?
Lastly in the U-turns category: The Werechicken saga. Again, I'd had a notion to write sequels because commercial viability and all that. However, the planned sequel(s) - which was an epic fantasy of Lord of the Rings proportions - just don't seem to be working. I have written Frank's part of the story, which is about 90k words, and is a meandering journey through my world where he encounters elves, zombies, and a tribe of triclopses living on the back of a giant crab wandering through the desert. The idea was that Frank was being guided by an old witch who tricked/kidnapped him into another adventure. Their journey is based on a vague prophecy, and the plot of the story would be driven forward by the chapters of the story relating to the wizardess character, Thorn. 
The idea was that at the end of both storylines Thorn and Frank would realise that they both had the same goal, although their stories were completely separate, and they would help each other to defeat the big bad.
Unfortunately, Thorn's part of the story has not been much fun to write: without Frank , Thorn is actually pretty boring. Frank is the heart of the story, and no matter who I put him with he can stand on his own. It's his reactions to people and situations that make him a joy to write. Therefore I think that this might be the end for Thorn, and I think the story will be better for it. I reckon that Frank's story can be repurposed and the vague prophecy that he's following can relate to something else entirely (I have a few ideas, but that would be giving the game away). And what about Thorn? Well, my view is that continuing with the story that I intended to write could be a collossal disaster. Maybe the events - an all out war against the 'big bad' - still happen in my universe, but I have no plans to write about them anytime soon. Frank might hear some rumours, or pass through a town affected by them, but that's really it. He will run into Thorn every now and again, and he will see that she's no-longer the woman he fell in love with. She's become obsessed with an enemy that everyone thinks is dead, but at the same time has grown into a powerful wizardess, and a true leader. That greatness is what I wanted for her, but I don't think she can do that whilst being a part of Frank's life.
If anyone (mum) is thinking that my comedy story about a man whose 'superpower' is that he can turn into a chicken is making a leap into the 'tragedy' genre: fear not! I'll make it funny. I don't know how, but I will.