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If I Had Worlds Enough (Or Time)

May 4, 2015

I am a fantasy writer. On any given day, I get at least three ideas for new stories or bits of world-building. It’s a sad fact of writer life that I’ll never be able to write them all.  I don’t even manage to get the kernels down on paper most of the time, and some I flat-out discard as being unusable, or usable by Someone Who Is Not Me.*

I am also a fantasy consumer. And a consumer of science fiction, crime television, costume dramas, musicals, literary slipstream, histories, superhero stories, and popular science. Basically, a geek. I have practically zero willpower when it comes to this stuff. Tell me it exists, show me a trailer or a book preview, and I am there.

It’s when these two interests merge that I really start getting into trouble.

I’ve mentioned that I already have more ideas than I can possibly write, right? That there are a bunch of ideas rattling around in my brain that will never see the light of day? So why do I feel the need to a) invent media for my characters to consume and b) proceed to fall in love with that media and to go through a truncated version of the Five Stages of Grief every single time?

  1. Denial – I can always write that as fanfic later. Under a pseudonym, obviously.
  2. Anger – Why doesn’t this already exist?
  3. Bargaining – Maybe I can get someone to make it exist?
  4. Depression – I’m never convincing anyone to write a TV show. Or a book series. Or a movie trilogy.
  5. Acceptance – Oh well. Moving on….

Every. Single. Time. Each one just a little more aggravating than the last.

At this point, I can’t even remember them all. The trunked novel had a series of pirate novels and a police sitcom**. The current novel has a costume drama in 1880s New York City and an entire genre of fiction that cannot ever be written in this reality. And I’m only a third of the way, so who knows what else is going to pop up? I can’t decide if I’m dreading finding out, or excited. Maybe a bit of both.

Does this happen to other writers, or am I just special that way? Also, anybody want to start a pseudo-historical pirate novel craze? I’d be in your debt….


* This is why I have started the Things I Won’t Be Writing series, and also why my writer friends have learned to recognize a particular glint in my eye, because they know I’m about to convince them to write one of my terrible (awesome?) ideas.

** I got that one, though I note that mine was set in Indonesia, so was clearly cooler and more progressive.

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