I have a novel that I started back about 1992 or so titled Transporting which I eventually finished over the summer of 2012. This was my first serious attempt at writing, with a lot of work building and character creation and the such, and it nearly drove me mad in the process. I ended up starting it three different times before finally getting the last forty-five thousand words in the can so I could type “The End” at the bottom of the last scene.
There’s a very good chance I’ll never publish this story. Maybe I will, but . . . probably not.
There are many reasons for this. One, it was an emotional journey for me to get it finished, and I actually thought, at one point, it never would. Everyone has a “Great Unfinished Novel” in them, and I believed I was no exception.
Two, it was an exhausting adventure, one filled with a lot of “I have no idea what I’m doing” thoughts. The world building was insane: I was literally building worlds because the majority of the story happened on planets orbiting other stars, and I was figuring out orbital parameters by going to the library and getting books on celestial mechanics (I actually started work on this book in 1991, so no real Internet) and modeling everything on Excel spreadsheets. How close was I? When I worked out the same orbits twenty years later using up-to-date software that calculated those sorts of things, I was almost exact in my original calculations.
But getting to that point was a total pain in the ass.
And Three: I spent so much time figuring out this story that by the time I’d gotten to “The End” I was completely burned out on it. The novel really came about in the summer of 1988 while I was working at Playboy, and during those times when I had little to do, I’d sit in my office and daydream about these two women who were pretty kick-ass when it came to working for the government of the Humanist Interstellar Empire, and from those meager points almost two hundred and fifty thousand words arose.
But with the exception of two novels and a short story I wrote about these women, I doubt very much if they’ll ever come out and play with anyone in the real world. I don’t believe the world I created over those two decades is relevant today, and I feel it’d be a bit embarrassing to even try publishing this work.
Besides, I have a new series I can write if I so choose, with new characters that I also love, and a new world that fits in nicely with the world around us today. A world I know quite will, thank you. And with characters who have an interesting life ahead of them.
Assuming, of course, I don’t mess them up too bad in the years to come. That would be a bummer.