We rarely notice it happening, but we all change as we grow. Some things may remain the same, like our taste in movies or our favorite book, but as the world changes around us so too do we. Our attitudes and opinions evolve, the way we react to certain situations transform, and our memories transform to match the way we want to remember them. It’s human nature. The way we look at something tomorrow may be dramatically different from the way we look at it today.
On my “About My Projects” page I have a short description of a current work-in-progress that I’ve referred to as “Parallels” since it’s conception in my mind almost ten years ago. I began writing this particular story during an upsetting time in my life, and the story reflected that. The first few chapters, if you knew enough to know where to look, were all about me, about my thoughts and feelings, and how I wished a big, crazy adventure would sweep me away from those thoughts and feelings. I spent a lot of time on that first version of the story, until I had probably somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 words…and then I started all over from scratch.
It might seem illogical. After all, you wouldn’t stop reading a book halfway through and start over from the beginning, so why would you do the same while writing a book?
The reason is that my attitudes had changed. Events had occurred that made me think different, made me want to modify the story. And so I began again, with changes to the plot, changes to the main character, and changes to the overall tone of the story. This time I think I wrote somewhere around 15,000 words.
You might see where this is going now, and why this particular piece has been in the works for almost a decade. Until a couple of years ago I would only write every now and then, when I got the chance or when the fancy struck me, so by the time I would get around to adding some more to this work-in-progress things would have changed again. Attitudes, feelings, perceptions, the world around me, and how I thought readers would react to the story. When I first began writing this story I was writing it just for me, with no intent that anyone would ever actually read it, but as time went on I felt that it could actually become something worth publishing, something worth sharing with the world. But not in any of its previous forms.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this work recently. With my zombie apocalypse novel nearing completion, I’ll need to put my efforts into something else, and I want it to be this piece. Though I’ve already done it a dozen times, I want to start over again, this time with a much more adult, professional view of the world and what readers want. I have a desire for this story to be told, and for the first time in the past decade I believe I know exactly how I want to tell it.
The story will be changed quite a deal, from the issues that plague the main character, to the number and nature of supporting characters, the length and format of the overall story, and many things in between. For one thing, I’ve decided that instead of the 100,000+ word single adventure that I was originally envisioning, this story will henceforth be a series. I do not yet know how much I will be able to stretch the story out, but I anticipate 6 books. If that seems like an outrageous stretch (after all, each book would have to be somewhere in the range of 70,000 words, which means more than four times the original length I had expected), don’t worry. I have lots of plans. Previously this story went from point A to point B to point C, and so on, but there are lots of modifications that can be made, subplots that can be added.
There will be lots of other changes to ensure that this story is the best that it can be, but suffice it to say that despite my usual tendency to deal with things as they come, I’ve got lots of big ideas and plans for this and it’s all really rather exciting.
It’s not always expected, and we don’t always notice it happening, but sometimes change is an excellent thing, don’t you think?