My first published book was Night of the Necromancer, and my second was Apocalypse. But there is a book I wrote between those two that will never, ever, be published.
This is my second book. This is the one I don’t want anyone to read…ever.
Was it that bad? Er, no. Maybe. Most of it was written in the fall and winter of 2011, and it’s clear that I’ve gotten a lot better since then – which is great.
So, what was so bad about this book that I say I will never publish it?
Well…I got a little ambitious, and I’ve since grown in humility. Writing, like a lot of things, you have to learn to walk before you run. And I tried to run on baby legs. Maybe even fly. The result: a complicated mess that could barely get readers past the first chapter.
Because, you see, I envisioned myself writing the War and Peace of the zombie genre. Ridiculous? Yes. If I had been eighteen and more naive, maybe I would have been crazy enough to pull if off. I had a grand total of six points of view going on. I remember the first draft being something like 90,000 words, but I ended up cutting a lot of it. I edited it. I tried to “reanimate” it, as it were.
But this corpse of a book wasn’t gonna walk.
Nanoswarm was a learning experience. One day, I might write that crazy, Cloud Atlas meets The Matrix meets War and Peace kind of novel, but that won’t happen right now. I’m still learning. I have to keep it simple. I have to actually research how nanotechnology works instead of just basing my knowledge on something I heard Michio Kaku say one time.
Besides the plot problems and PoV problems, there were also character problems. I was unfair to some, while others were more well-drawn. Some of the things they say are downright laughable when I meant them in all seriousness. So young, so naive…alas. Some of these things don’t sound like a thing a human being would say, ever.
It’s so weird how much we can grow in just a year and a month (which was when I saved the final draft of the book, n’er to return…). If this was me then, then I wonder where I’ll be in a year, especially now when I feel like I’m learning so much. If anything, it encourages me not to give up and keep trying. Maybe the writer’s adage of “getting a 1,000,000 words of crap” out of the way is true.
We learn by doing. We become better writers by writing. We become better at anything by doing it (though naturally some will be more adept at picking it up than others – like any other skill. You could teach me all day about cars, but I will learn at one fifth the rate of a retarded fish).
Then again, maybe Nanoswarm will hit e-book shelves sometime in my life. If it does, it will probably be an entirely new book, and I have no plans to do such a thing anytime soon. Probably by the time it does, zombies will be over. Then again, I thought zombies would be over by now, and they just won’t die (as zombies are wont not to do).
Anyway, digression…peace y’all.