What if I never finish my book?
This is the nightmare for all novel writers of any genre, POV, or length. What if I don’t finish? What if I can’t finish? What if I’m not good enough to finish the first draft, much less the rewrite?
But, what if I don’t want to finish my book?
That’s the question that popped into my head a couple weeks ago and has been stirring around in my brain since. What if I don’t WANT to finish SAAFire?
I’m going to work through the answer in this post. Maybe it will help a few other people find their answers.
First, let’s dispel the notion that I don’t have any new projects waiting for me after SAAFire:
- I plan to write a collection of poems around a specific theme that I would then, someday, release anonymously and get paid a lot of money by a specific niche of people.
- I have at least 6 short story ideas, one of which deserves only to be filmed, knocking around in my head, waiting to be sneezed out on the page and then left to gather dust (or dollars).
- Then there’s the trilogy idea for the current novel AND the series with a completely different cast in a completely different universe doing mildly different things.
SAAFire is both holding me back and teaching me the craft.
With SAAFire, I’m happy devising new endings and second acts—or, at least I think I am. I love seeing the twists and turns my story can take. I love working on my villain (he still needs a LOT of work but he’s new, he’ll be fine).
Will I ever have that feeling with another story?
I’ve worked on SAAFire for so long that it’s hard to imagine giving it up. I wrote the very first draft in seventh grade (it was terrible, I can’t even stand to read it anymore, it physically hurts me) and my two main characters are still with me and fundamentally the same. The faceless organization, the main premise. It’s all still there.
If you’ll indulge my writer-ness going to the nth degree for a moment, I recently realized that I’ll never have this kind of relationship with a story again and I’m not sure I want it to be over.
I’m especially not sure I want to hand it off for judgment to millions of adoring fans.
Aim big, folks.
I hope to live in this made-up universe of mine for a long time but I can’t do that without finishing SAAFire. Writing SAAFire has been like having a dozen 1000-piece puzzles sets dumped out all together in front of me and all but one of them have missing pieces. Finishing this book means I found and built the one complete puzzle and it’s gorgeous. I want to be able to read my own story and not have all these disjointed acts and scenes swimming around my mind.
More importantly, it gives me a solidified world to continue building in, established rules for the magical powers and social relations, and problems to be solved in future stories.
I can’t continue living in the world of SAAFire if I don’t finish it, first, or else the world will crumble in its own inconsistencies and constant rewrites.
I guess that’s my answer! If I don’t finish the story and, instead, subject it to countless partial rewrites, I will eventually destroy my own story and my own imaginary universe and the people who live in it.
Best get writing, then.