Sunday, May 11, 2014

Giving up on Faerylander again.

I've just spent 10 days trying to "fix" Faerylander, to make it a "serious" book.

I don't think it can be done.

Faerylander is a big, sprawling, messy, silly gumbo of a book.  It can't be distilled down into its essence.  I think it probably works better as a giant conglomeration of good and bad scenes, believable and unbelievable motivations, serious and silly tones -- all just thrown together.

I've improved so many elements of it!  I mean, so much of it works!  So much of it is interesting and fun!  But...fundamentally, it is flawed and I'm not sure the problems can be resolved.  They can only be displayed proudly. 

So many of the messy, flawed parts have become real to me.  I can't change them or toss them out.  This book is really my magnum opus, as far as world construction goes.  But world construction is not the same thing as good efficient story-telling.

Each time I've tried to fix it, I've just added another layer and made it more complicated.

I'm tempted to just mash everything together and say -- This is it.  Here's my big shaggy sloppy dog.

I mean, it's wildly imaginative.

But as a story that the reader can believe is real, despite the unreal elements -- it doesn't work.  Faerylander requires that someone go -- "This is silly, but kind of fun.  It's meandering, but the ideas are interesting.  It's got a lot of characters, but I like them."

All put together, it is approaching 160K words, twice the size of any of my other books.

So I like this story -- but I'm not sure anyone else will.  (Actually, the people who have read it seem to like it, mostly.  It's that last little "mostly" that worries me.)

Here's the thing.

Faerylander doesn't fit with what I've done with Led to the Slaughter and the Dead Spend No Gold.

It doesn't fit with the Vampire Evolution Trilogy.

Unfortunately, it doesn't even fit with the sequels I've written or am writing, Wolflander and Ghostlander.  

In comparison these novels are well-constructed, straightforward stories, that despite the supernatural elements are believable enough for the reader to buy into.  Manageable and internally consistent themes and characters.  Well-rounded stories, I hope.

These are neat tidy 80K books. 

What I'm saying, I guess, is that I don't think it would be a good career move to put Faerylander out right now.  Maybe I'm taking myself too seriously, but really -- I don't want to put something out that will change what I've tried to establish, how I'm being perceived.

So what do I do with my Frankenstein Book?

I'm thinking I should put it out sometime when I'm well-established, and let the chips fall where they may.  

Just offer it to the world.  Here it is -- I hope you're in the mood for some wild imagination.

Or, I can just put this out under another name, so that the Duncan McGeary brand stays what it is -- and the new book is just something some other guy put out.   I'm really tempted to do this -- and also put my Deviltree trilogy out under a different name.  (This has some good writing in it, but again because it was written 30 years ago has a different tone and style.)

But for now, I'm just going to set Faerylander aside again, and hope that in the future I can find something that will make it all work.  Keep building on it, like it is my own private little world.  Make it something that I just do for myself and then someday throw out there and see if anyone else likes it.

The Dead Spend No Gold is going to be a fine book.  It's time I go back to it.

And finish Ghostlander, which I'm also liking, even though it is a sequel to an unworkable book...heh.

I have faith that it will all work out, eventually.

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