Ideas

Writers always have too many ideas for stories. One of the most common complaints I hear among my writer friends is that they have more ideas than they have time to write them.

Me, I’m like a butterfly. I flit from flower (idea) to flower (idea) and often don’t end up getting anything accomplished. Things will grab me. It might be a movie (I’m looking at you, Endgame!) or a book, or something someone says to me, or a dream. And I get enthusiastic about telling that story, and I move away from the one I was most currently working on.

Consequently, I have many unfinished stories in various stages of completion. I have five published works, plus a couple of collections of short stories, but my unfinished works greatly outnumber the finished ones.

When they announced The Force Awakens, I had the thought that space opera was going to be a big thing, so I started a novel about a space junker who comes across a small derelict starship, but the ship isn’t exactly empty, and to the main character, there’s a whole lot of deja vu happening.

Here we are, years later, as the third of this Star Wars trilogy is being released soon, and I still haven’t finished it. I started over once because I liked the story I was telling but I didn’t like the way I was telling it. Still, there it sits. I work on it from time to time, especially after I read some space opera by someone like Chris Fox or Lindsey Buroker or Val St. Crowe. And I do plan on finishing it. I think it might be pretty cool when I finally do so. But when that will happen, I don’t know.

There’s always a post-apocalyptic novel out there to attract my attention (squirrel!!) and most recently, I’ve read novels by Steven M. Moore (The Last Humans), M.P. McDonald (her Infection series), and John L. Monk (Hell’s Children). I started writing one back in the nineties, called Inherit The Earth, and Monk’s stories especially inspired me to get back on that one. I’ve written over 60K words, and I don’t know how much more I have to go. I just know that eventually I have to end it. Then edit it and probably lose about a quarter of it. We’ll see.

I also was inspired years ago by Hugh Howey’s Wool series, and I started this novel which originally was set in his universe. But after a short email exchange with Hugh, I realized that it wouldn’t work with his concepts. Instead of stopping, I changed what I needed to change and plowed ahead. It stands at something close to 100K words, but still doesn’t have an end in sight.

Years ago I wrote a trilogy of vampire detective stories called The Striker Files. At some point, I thought it would be fun to continue that story. Seems like there’d be ramifications from the events at the end of the third story. So I settled in to write another story in that universe. It ended up being novel length, right around 60K words give or take, and while it answered the questions posed by the first three short stories, it brought up even more questions. That finished work is untitled and I’m still editing it. But I am writing another novel in that series, and currently I think it stands at about 16K words, give or take.

I also used to be part of a forum on Delphi Internet Services called the Horror Discussion Group. We developed a shared world called Addison Falls, and I wrote a story called The Ghost Train which can be found in my collection Die 6 (see it there on the right? Scroll down if you don’t see it by now). At some point I decided to start writing a novel in that world. I don’t have a title, but I work on it every so often. It stands at about 25K I think, and I don’t know when it will be done.

I also read a book by Bryan Smith called Last Day or something like that, and it inspired me to write a similar story about the moon coming toward the Earth. It’s horror, not science fiction, so I don’t have to be scientifically accurate. After all, it has a werewolf as one of its main villains. It stands at around 20K. I am not sure it will end up as a novel; it may only make it to novella length.

I’ve also written one MG/YA novel (about 53K words) with my son that is complete, about a pair of siblings searching for their missing father with the help of his friend and colleague. It’s got odd villains (courtesy of my son), an interesting setting (mostly the American southwest) and of course, treasure. It will be published some day. But drawing from the inspiration of writing that and reading a lot of their stuff (Rick Riordan’s work in particular, like the Percy Jackson novels and The Thirty Nine Clues), I started another about young people finding themselves inside of a modern day King Arthur story, complete with Morgan Le Fay and whatever else I can dream up. I’m probably only 10K into it, but again, I hope it will some day be published.

You get the idea. There are others. I have a couple of odd urban fantasies cooking, a weird kidnapping/thriller set in Thailand (a mostly imaginary Thailand, since I’ve never been there), a couple of thrillers (one horror, one not) set in colleges, and a psychological Coben-esque thriller set in my home town. Some have quite a lot written, some not so much. But the ideas, they keep coming.

Someday I’ll have time to write them all.

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