A more ambitious book.

So I've proven to myself that I can write a book...or two...or twenty.

In my previous little career, I got bogged down by bad habits and expectations, so I was determined for that not to happen this time. I decided I would write the ideas that came to me, finish the books, and enjoy the process.

That wasn't a bad decision. I've learned by doing, I've liked everything I've written.

As I've mentioned, I discover the story by writing.

Every time in the past where I've tried to find the "killer premise" and then research it or try to outline it--the book doesn't get written. Thinking about it too much only brings up the doubts, and then I start questioning whether it is really a killer premise, and, well, the book never gets written.

I spent months researching a Middle Eastern story back in the 80's and I still think it could have been cool, but ultimately decided it was over my head. This has probably happened more often that I've actually written books. Not because they weren't good ideas but that ultimately, I talked myself out of them.

The only problem with discovering a story by writing is that I often discover more than halfway through that I've missed some good bets, or I've left out things I could have done that would have made the book better, or I've written myself in a corner, or...I just haven't completely and fully explored the ramifications of the story. Usually, I go back and try to fix those things, and usually I can do it. When I can't "fix" it often turns out that what I've done is just fine--it's just me trying to be a perfectionist.

I've been wanting to write a classic Fantasy trilogy from the beginning. What's stopped me that is that I intend to do a lot of world building first, and that is hard for me to do without stumbling upon the world by writing, and that's what I'm trying to avoid.

One way around this block has been to write a series of novellas based in the same world: Tales of the Thirteen Principalities. Each time I've written one of these novellas (4 and 1/2 and counting) I've come up with more of the background. As long as I don't publish these stories, I have a chance to go back and take all the discovered elements and made them consistent. When I have enough of a background, I can do my "trilogy."

The second way to discover a story though is to actually write it and then put it aside and write it a second time with all I've discovered. I actually did this with the first 1/3rd of Shadows over Summer House. But it seems somewhat crazy and wasteful to do that every time.

My latest book, Fateplay, deals with Larping and Cosplay and VR and holograms and A.I's and robots and so on. I set out to write a Ready Player One book in tone. Don't know if I accomplished that, but I enjoyed writing it. But about halfway through I realized that the ideas in the story were so large that a much more ambitious book could be had, one that could really explore the ramifications of the premise.

I decided not to go back and change this adventure story and load it with "ideas." It's a good book as it is. But in a way, I discovered a larger story that could be written about the subject.

So I've sort of decided to do that. Spend a few months mulling over the ramifications of the premise and see if I can't construct a storyline in advance, hopefully with a beginning, middle and end. This will be my Box book, where I think about the premise and job down ideas and drop them in a box.

The question is--will the book ever get written? Can I stay intrigued by the story long enough to think it through without actually writing? Will I talk myself out of it?

As I said, I've proven I can write a book. I'd like to try to be a bit more ambitious next time, but without losing the fun of it.

Meanwhile, I've got a bunch of books to rewrite, so this is probably the perfect time to plan a book.