The problem with being a writer, well, one of the many, is that you have to write something that makes sense to someone somewhere and hope that special someone finds your work and admires it. The more someones that it makes sense to, the better. There’s things to do to ensure that number is high. Editing, understanding grammar, plot, character development, etcetera. Then there’s marketing and promotion (which I stink at).
I got this story. It’s huge. I have mentioned it a lot since I’ve been working on it since 2004. I’ve finished it three times now. Maybe four depending on how I look at it. Each version is slightly different and, with each, it makes more sense to more people. I’ve had some people read it and they’ve all enjoyed it. Sure, there’s problems. But for the most part, they’ve liked it.
Problem is, I don’t. Yeah, yeah, I am so addicted to this novel I dream of it. But there’s parts of it I just can’t seem to get right.
The book is Simple Sarah (I can hear the groans from here). The problem I have with it is the Bad Guys and Evil and All That Bad Guy Evil Stuff. Where’d they come from? Where have they been? Why are some religious nuts allowed to kill them? Why doesn’t the gov’t step in and say, “Um, you are killing a lot of people.” It just never really felt right. I’ve danced around the issue in several different ways and I’ve discussed it with Lorna (spouses of writers discuss the oddest things at the dinner table).
Gods and Goddesses are odd beings. Where’d they come from? Are they static? Do they never change? Do the peoples that worship them change them in any way? How do those peoples even start worshiping them to begin with?
I realized the deities within Simple Sarah are like the Greek/Roman gods. They walk among the people at times, although they are not all that accessible on the whole. Which means perhaps that they have faults, just like the Greek/Roman gods did. And perhaps they were also influenced by the who and how of the worship directed toward them.
Many times in the Christian Bible we read of how someone sweet talked God into Plan B. Was that God’s intention to begin with or did He/She really get swayed?
Which led Lorna and I to develop a new religion base for the Simple Sarah novels. It actually feels better now. I feel as if I understand it now and feel more comfortable with the entire story arc. One of the things E. said about it when she read it was that while it was a good story (she finished the whole thing), she didn’t feel that anything actually happens. And she is right. Sure, lots happen but really, it was the WHY, not the WHAT that was missing. At least to me.
Evil plays a huge role in fantasy novels. People, things, places, abstract thoughts. Mean dragons or evil wizards or unholy trinkets wreak havoc on the world and someone has to fix it. But why did that dragon eat that village? Why did the evil wizard become evil and why did he stay that way? How did that unholy trinket come to exist? And, if it is oh so powerful, why does a simple blow from just the right hammer or a toss into just the right fire kill it?
I really feel that this is it for Simple Sarah. I really feel that in a few weeks, it will be done. For real. But I am not recommending you hold your breath. Unless you are underwater, then, yeah, go ahead.