I read the latest chapter of Led to the Slaughter to Linda and she grinned and said, "Yeah, you've got a real book there."
Which got me to thinking. What is a 'real' book?
Very often I don't feel a though I'm creating a story so much as uncovering a story. It's as if they exist in their own right -- that they have their own existence and reality, apart from whether anyone ever reads them. As though the Universe has recognized their reality.
As if, in some alternate universe, this story exists.
I have a fully complete book that no one has read. Linda heard the first 15% or so, but no one has read or heard any of the rest of it. (Wolflander.) It exists on my computer -- the characters are doing their thing, feeling their feelings, events happen. But without anyone reading it. I finished the book and immediately took the Donner Party werewolf chapters out (without affecting the book, really) and started writing on those instead.
I also have a Sometimes a Dragon version that no one has read; and the last version of Nearly Human, only one or two people have read.
All just stored in digital bits, ready to spring alive.
But they are alive, inside their little bubble of reality. I have to believe they exist, because they were written (created or discovered.) Whether or not anyone ever reads them.
Feeling this way, the online option seems like a good one. I put out these little alternate versions of reality and they float in their little cocoon, waiting to be discovered.
But they already exist whether or not they are ever discovered.
6 days ago