Mages of Myst

For more than fifteen years part of my brain has resided in a magical land known as the Kingdom of Myst.  At the time I thought that the name was a fairly creative one on my part but the reality is that I probably stole the name Myst from the computer game that was out around the same time and it was in the back of my mind.  The name of the popular comic Dilbert came about in a similar fashion, accidentally stealing the name from a loser in military instructional videos.  So if I did steal the name Myst, it wasn’t an intentional ripoff and I’m proud to carry on the tradition of unintentional ripoffs.  Unless of course I get sued or find that I’m unable to use the name because of copyright violations.

I say all of this because for over fifteen years I have dabbled with a writing project that takes place in a land called Myst.  I have seven different versions of the story that have been written and rewritten over many years.  However, the last time I worked on the story was 2007, so it has been sitting for almost six years.  And yet I find myself ready to take up the story once again.  I don’t do this because I plan on making tons of money on the story.  I don’t even know if I’ll be able to give it away for free frankly.  The real reason I’m doing it is because I really like the story even if no one else does.  And frankly I want to know how the story ends because frankly I never had an ending in mind when I wrote.  Yes, it’s safe to say that the good guy wins in the end because that’s the way 99% of stories end and I’m not exactly giving away any spoilers to my still unwritten book.  What I want to know are the details of how my story ends.

Of course there is a very legitimate question to ask as to why I think that I can finish writing a book now when I have failed seven times before.  In fairness, I have finished writing a novel of over 100,000 words, I just hate it and it will never see the light of day in public.  More to the point though, I realized my problem in writing.  It is not necessarily a lack of ideas.  Nor is it the common writer’s problem of never being happy with one’s work and constantly rewriting it.  The problem has been that I have bit off more than I could chew.  I set out to write an epic novel with a huge mythology and large backstory.  And I created a large backstory with a pretty neat mythology in my own opinion.  The problem has been that I never got to resolve any action.  I spent so much time creating backstory that I found fascinating that my characters never accomplished anything.

It’s actually not fair to say that my characters never accomplished anything but for the amount of story that I had written, I should actually have been drawing near a conclusion for a normal length book.  But if I just tacked on a big battle at that point, it would have felt like a lot of  build for nothing.

I don’t want to throw out the mythology of my story because that is what makes the story in my opinion.  But on the other hand, I need some conflict resolution before I reach the 150,000 word mark.  What I’ve decided is that the story would work well as a trilogy (or possibly more if I ever find success with the story.)  This would allow me to build multiple plots while weaving together a complex mythology through the story.

So that’s where I am with everything.  Because I have so much material already written but in need of reorganizing, I believe that I can bang out my first book in about a month.  After that it will be a complete crapshoot as to how motivated I am.  I might be sated with having finally resolved a storyline that it takes me another fifteen years to finish the next book.  Or maybe I’ll get a good reaction to the book and I’ll want to jump right into the next story.  I guess I’ll see.  I’ve always believed that some day I would eventually finish this story and I believe that now is my best chance to make some headway on it.  I’ll keep the updates coming here on how I’m doing.