A family friend asked me what my book was about yesterday, and I lied. It wasn’t a conscious thing, and I didn’t even realize I had done so until thinking about it more today.
“I hear you’re writing a book. What’s it about?” they asked.
I didn’t have a simple answer. I didn’t even know how I really felt about the story as a whole or writing it or anything else, so I fell back on feigning a degree of almost disinterest in the book, and slightly mocking it. Looking back, though, it simply wasn’t true.
How do you explain a complex story to someone? I can give them the “storyline” for the book I’m writing, but the storyline for the individual book does little for anyone without the knowledge that it’s the first book in what will need to be a series. I can give them that “storyline”, but it leaves so much out that I almost don’t WANT to say it, because it sounds almost deceptive in it’s simplicity.
I feigned disinterest in writing the book as well, as if it wasn’t “what I want to write about”, something that I have thought before, because it’s not “a reflection of what I tend to read/think/etc”. But that’s not really true either.
Granted, the story I’m working on is not G3R4LD’s tale, and that’s the one I WANT to write, but I want to have what I write be READ first, you know? So, this story being more in the realm of things people tend to purchase in order to read, this is the one I’m working on first.
There’s a story by David Eddings, a portion of the “Belgariad” and “Mallorean” series, where a sorcerer in training is instructed by his master to investigate a flower and return to his master when he has discovered all there is to know about it. He studies the flower for weeks, finally returning to his master with what he learned. His master asks, “Is that ALL there is to learn from the flower?”
He returns to studying the flower, getting to know details he hadn’t learned before, spending months this time. He returns to his master who again asks, “Is that all?”
He returns to studying the flower again. He curses the undying flower, as he pours hours and days and weeks and months, eventually years into the study of this one accursed flower.
Finally, he returns to his master and gives him what he has learned. His master says, “Perhaps you should grind the flower into a fine powder and see what can be learned from it then.”
The sorcerer is aghast. “No, master, please!” he says.
“Why not?” asks the master.
The sorcerer hesitates, finally blurting out, “Because I love the flower!”
I think that is where I’m at. On the surface, this was not a story I would have chosen to write. I have poured hours of thought into the story, gotten to know the characters more and more. This story plagues my dreams at this point, and I have wished I could point out happenings to the characters at times, knowing they would appreciate them.
I have come to love the story. At first, it was a job I wanted to do and do well. It’s becoming a passion.
No, that’s not true either. It’s not “becoming”.
It simply is my passion, now.
I want to write this story and give these characters life outside of my own mind. 9/3-I hope to write a bit, but I’m not definite on that. The goal for this week, though?
9/6/13-I want to have 10,000 words written. It can be complete garbage, but it will be 10,000 words of my first draft.
Now for the hard question. What is the book about?
A young woman loses everything, but gains an entire world.
That’s the storyline for Book 1, anyway. It may change as I write the book, but that’s the one I’m going to answer that particular question with for now.
David Eddings on wikipedia
Book 1 of “The Belgariad” by David Eddings