Sometimes an idea is too good to resist. That’s where it begins for me – being taken in by the ‘wow yeah, I’ve got it!’ As a science fiction writer this revelatory moment of inspiration can be a prelude to trouble and, ultimately, disillusionment.
Having resisted the urge to even consider starting a 6th novel, I happened upon the phenomenon of Skinwalker Ranch through various TV shows. UFOs and a plethora of paranormal occurrences in one location!
Has no SF/horror writer been inspired by this nexus of paranormal activity? Maybe the reality of it is just too strange, too extraordinarily mindbogglingly weird, to distill into a novel or any form that gives you a coherent narrative. Yet what fiction can do that investigative factual reporting cannot is to give the mysterious meaning by narrowing down the context. Such as: here is a scenario to explain how things connect, a perspective through the eyes of a protagonist. Even though documentaries can do this to some extent – in that they give you an insight, they don’t really put you into the protagonist’s world. (That said, there are some real life people connected who would make interesting fictional characters.) But what, crucially, fiction can do is make a bold leap of imagination.
My guess is, a number of successful fiction authors have studied this phenomenal location and thought: I could take this on, write a decent story … yet risk the scrutiny from those with such an intense interest and strong opinion on what’s really happening, plus the ensuing barrage of criticism. And really, there are so many potential layers to peel away – to get anywhere near the heart of what is dubbed the world’s most mysterious place – it would be too onerous to try. The truth too strange (if not dark) even for fiction writers.
So would I take it on?
Maybe I should resist that temptation. But you can’t stop being inspired.
My published books: Worlds Beyond Time (UK)
Worlds Beyond Time (US)
The Captured (US) The Captured (UK)
My links site: adriankyte.com
There is no achievement so imbued with pride than publishing your first novel. Invested with high hopes and what feels like your entire being into this monumental project. Even if it turns out to be a failure, rejected and unappreciated, it will always hold that special place in your heart. Yes, a lot of emotion tied up with that debut work. So it has not been easy to confront the admittedly very considerable failings of The Hidden Realm.
Twelve years from first published I finally removed it. Well, mostly; it ended up on numerous sites since I made it free. Possibly exceeded 10k downloads. Clearly some readers liked it, but unfortunately those who didn’t made it known. This was in the days when competition on virtual space was nowhere near as fierce, so getting attention was far easier. But that kind of attention carries risk. And my request to delete all reference to it on Goodreads was rejected.
Here’s the dilemma. Should I do an extensive re-edit/rewrite of THR? Or just carry on with my fifth novel (second, third draft etc)? It’s a question perhaps only I can answer. A cursory re-read of my debut I soon got a sense of its failings: too many character POVs with all their narratives; clunky dialogue – which has been my weakness for many years. In the end I did my best to tie everything up to what felt like a neat resolution. Written in the noughties, maybe it seems dated in more ways than just the science&tech.
The most common problem with that first novel is, bursting with ideas, you want to throw everything in, without the patience to think: I can leave that character’s story for the next volume. So the next (Time Over) was like a reset in the series.
Anyway, I hope not to simply disregard THR without some attempt to salvage it. Because, surely, you can never forget your first.
My published books: Worlds Beyond Time (UK) Worlds Beyond Time (US)
The Captured (US) The Captured (UK)