1. I got Esparan back from the editor, so it’s one step closer to becoming a reality. It’s the book where I broke Kitable, so I kind of feel bad, but then again, he comes out better for it!
2. I’m recruiting ARC readers! If you don’t know what that is, it’s a reader who gets a FREE copy of a book BEFORE anyone else in exchange for an honest review posted. I’ve got a sign-up HERE. There’s no commitment; if you’re not interested in a given book, don’t take the copy! But if you’d like 1-2 free books per year from me, this is the place to get it!
3. We’re at the night market again in Sooke! I MIGHT be at the July 22nd one, but I WILL be at August 18th!
4. Exact date is coming, but Esparan’s due in September, and I’ve got a cover on the way! Wheee!
5. Podcast is out from Drinking with authors! Check it out HERE! The "Literary brief" version (ie short) is HERE!
Ok, the post.
I’ve mentioned it before, so I’m finally going to tell you the story of “the story that refuses to be written.”
I don’t remember exactly when or why I started to write fiction. I do know the scene I wrote in the back of my social studies book in grade 9 was the final climax to a story that eventually became the first story I finished. Yes, I wrote the ending first. Whatever.
That story has had a lot of names over the many years. It’s had different points of view, characters, plotlines, and villains. Heck, the main character’s name has changed three times. But for the sake of this, we’ll call it “Shakat’s story.”
Shakat’s story started as most first stories do; as a reflection of the story I liked at that age. It was essentially Cinderella; a farm girl caught up with a prince, changing her fate with wit and guile… you know the kind. But things morphed as I grew up. The farm girl became a wizard. The prince became an a$$. There was a dragon. And Shakat’s story took full form as a prophecy that went very, very wrong.
I knew when I finished it (my first novel!) in 1999 that it needed a complete rewrite; the beginning didn’t match the end because the characters and the plot had grown up. But the story was trapped on an ancient Mac, the rectangular black and white ones with screen and body all in one. The computer couldn’t do internet, and it had a corrupted floppy disc drive with its own format; it reformatted anything that it took in, and no other computer could read it ever again! I tried with local computer experts, but it was a dead end.
So I printed it. I was planning to scan it in one day, maybe once the technology was good enough to scan into a document file (instead of only images), but I know in my bones it’s useless. It needs a rewrite.
So in 2011, I tackled it again after getting home from vet school. I wrote a whopping 30,000 words on it. I had changed the point of view and was developing the secondary character (he’ll be the protagonist ultimately) when the file got damaged when backing it up. I lost all but 5,000 words.
Determined, I did it again, getting to nearly 40,000 words on the tale. Finally felt like I was making progress! Then my computer died. I tried to retrieve it from the backup USB stick. Wouldn’t read. I’d lost it all again.
I want to tell Shakat’s story: how the prophecy got everything backward and the ‘good guy’ will destroy them all; how she’s been labeled the villain and ostracised for all the wrong reasons; how she can’t trust anyone… except Matorin, eventually. I still plug in a few thousand words at times, like maybe fate won’t notice, but it’s risky. I’m not sure if it’s cursed or if I subconsciously have a thing against it. But there you have it, the story that will not be written! Maybe one day, with some luck and a lot of backups, I’ll come here to say I’m finally sharing Shakat’s story officially, but until then, it’ll be the one that got away.
D. Lambert, author
Fantasy novels that entice, inspire, and entertain.