Thursday, March 20, 2008

At What Cost

Well, if you haven't noticed, I've been pretty much absent from this blog for a long while now. Part of that was due to the disgust I felt with the world. I was just sick of ranting about stuff that seemed to happen over and over and over again.

Part of it was that I'd kept up pretty regularly with RI for over a year, and it had done it's job. Namely, helped me get into a "writing frame of mind".

Well, it apparently worked, because I finished the first draft of my first novel last night.

*begin pat on back*

It's called At What Cost, and it's about a man in an alternate future who's hired to travel through time keeping Adolf Hitler alive, in order to preserve his present timeline. Through the course of the story he comes to realize that not only is what he's doing wrong, but that the people he's working for (a branch of his government) are murdering scumbags of the first order.

He's betrayed and lied to time and time again, and the poor idiot falls for it just about every time. That is, until he takes action of his own, and tries to right his wrongs, whether they're really his or not.

It's not really the story I set out to write, but I think it is a good, soul-searching book about a man's mistakes, and the extremes that he'll go to to correct them. In case you hadn't noticed, it's a very character-driven story. It's only the first draft, and I've yet to even get it proof-read and copies out to my first readers, one of whom is Ranson of Hobocentrism. I look forward to seeing all my friends input on this book, so that I can make it even better.

It's weird. I wouldn't call this book a labor of love, or anything. In fact, my wife nagged me into starting it. And I did it, thinking that I'd write a chapter or two and let it drift away. But I found myself talking about the damn thing. Over and over again. Giving people obnoxious little updates, whether they gave a damn about it or not. It just wouldn't let me go. And when I wrote the epilogue, it felt like a great weight had lifted off my shoulders. It was bizarre.

It probably doesn't help anything that I'm riding a manic phase that's burning through my Welbutrin at the moment, but I feel positively ecstatic! I did it. I wrote a book! I don't care if it never sees the light of day, and the only people that ever read the damn thing are my friends. Hell, I'm their usual dungeon master. I've been writing stories for these people for years that no one else ever experiences. I feel like I've accomplished something. If I can actually make a little money off the thing, then all the better.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm proud of myself, as snotty as that may sound. I'm an avid reader, and honestly, I've always wondered if I had what it took to write a book. Note, I don't say a good book, just a book. I could write the Great American Novel, and someone will hate it. And I'm sure that there are a small but very strange group of people out there who would love At What Cost no matter how esoteric and poorly written it was.

But I actually put in the effort, and wrote put almost 78,000 words to metaphorical paper, and told a cohesive, hopefully coherent story. I'm so excited I could burst. It's kind of a let-down that no one else is oohing and aahing over this as much as I am. I feel like shouting from the rooftops, and I suppose that's what this post is all about.

*end pat on back*

So, what's the upshot of all this? Well, I've got another book cooking away in the back of my head, and my wife has tentatively agreed to write it with me! It's a more light-hearted story, I think, in a different genre entirely. But she's not quite finished with school yet, so I guess I've got a little free writing time on my hands. I guess I'll start spouting off again, from time to time.

I kind of feel sorry for the blogosphere. It has enough blowhards already. My windy re-emergence is just going to add to the hot air. But I don't really care.

Cry havoc.

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"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul..." -- Mark Twain


Fire does not wait for the sun to be hot,

Nor the wind for the moon, to be cool.

-- the Zenrin Kushu