Friday, April 6, 2007

Queries: In the Trunk?

A curious reader has asked me if I wrote any other novels previous to Flora Segunda.

The answer: kinda.

Before there was Flora, before there was Crackpot Hall, before there was Valefor, I wrote an exceedingly long epic that followed the life of she who you all know as Little Tiny Doom. I'm not sure that this epic could be called a novel, per say, for tho' it cracked in at over 100,000 words, it didn't really much of a structure. Or much of a plot, for that matter. It covered several different periods of Tiny Doom's life, both youth and adult-hood, and though many exciting things happened to her, these events were not thematically linked, nor did they really add up into a narrative arc. At the time, my model was the Norse saga; not the plot-heavy sagas like Njal's Saga, but the personal history saga, like Egil's Saga or King Harald's Saga. Lot of exciting incidents embroidered onto a biography. Which may have played great in a mead-hall, but today we want more of a story arc.

The meandering Brakespearesaga (as I called it) was good for me figuring establishing characters and basic chronology, as well as Califa world building, and, at one time, I had thought I would go back and retro fit enough of a plot that the saga could be considered an actual novel, but I never got around to it, and now I never will, I think. In style, the saga was also modeled on the Norse Saga, so the writing was exceedingly spare and terse, and my style has changed too much to go back to that. Also, the Saga was in first person, which POV I'd like to avoid in the future.

So, in a nutshell, I wrote a big long fat manuscript, but it wasn't really a novel. Just many words, words, words.


Paul Witcover said...

Speaking as one fortunate enough to have read large chunks of the "Brakspearesaga," I think you are being a bit too modest here!

There are bits of that epic which I still think about years later, and the knowledge I gained into the backstory of Califa and your characters added a bittersweet flavor to Flora (and the short stories featuring LTD and Hardhands) that, even if not sensible to other readers, enriched my reading experience.

I'm of the opinion as well that this quality IS sensible to other readers, simply because it is sensible to the author, whether or not explicitly set forth in the narrative.

I hope in some way, shape, or form, you do go back to the timeline of the Saga.

Ysabeau Wilce said... are too kind! I will probably incorporate the info contained in the Brakespearesaga into some other work, but I fear that as far as the Saga itself goes, that train has left the station, without me on board. That is to say; it's too late now to go back to the old mss. But I do think there's a lot to be salvaged, info-wise, and I hope to do so. But I just don't think I can recapture the voice now. She who lives will see, I guess! But I'm glad that you still remember the Saga fondly!

Erika Hamerquist said...

Are you doing Flora Redux in third person, then?

And I second the hope that some day "Wilce: The Early Works" will be available. Maybe I've already seen at least a smattering of the Saga in Tiny Doom Turns Thirteen ...? If so, terrific stuff!