Today we have a guest post by Elizabeth Corrigan! She's the author of Oracle of Philadelphia and Raising Chaos. I read both and thoroughly enjoyed them. This is part of a blog tour, and there's a giveaway link at the end of the post!
Books I Will Never Write
I have about a million author neuroses. I have a crippling fear my books will be too short. I worry that my story ideas are stupid but that people are afraid to tell me. I am apprehensive that I will one day become like Stephenie Meyer and whole groups of people will hate my books on principle without ever having read them just because they’re popular. (Actually, that one I would probably be okay with.) But perhaps one of my greatest fears is that someday I will run out of story ideas.
One of my author friends, with whom I share all my plots before I even write them down, tells me this is ridiculous. I have plans for ten more Earthbound Angels books, with no guarantee that will be the end, so I’ll run out of faces to put on the cover before I’ll run out of story ideas. The other series I’m currently working on, which may or may not make it to publication any time in the near future, will be eight books. And lately the idea spring has been pretty good, and I’ve got some good concepts for two New Adult series.
Still, I worry. And one of the reasons for this is that, for every idea I come up with that stretches itself out into a full plot, I have so many more that never get past the concept stage. Or others that I spend hours on, only to conclude at a later date that they are ridiculous. So I thought I would share with you a few of the book concepts I have that, for one reason or another, will likely never see the light of day.
- The book I wrote in high school. Oh, fifteen-year-old me. You thought you were so clever, coming up with a book to write. You even showed it to all you friends, and they hung on every page, waiting to see what happened next. Now that I have doubled your years, I wonder what you were thinking. A quiet girl moves to a small town and is selected to join a Gang, whose origins were the school’s student council in the 1950s? That doesn’t even make sense.
- Caradonia epic fantasy. I actually spent many years plotting out this one. It was about a princess named Trevar who was never supposed to be born, but Death refused to take her soul. Consequently, people found her inexplicably unlikable, and she compensated for this by becoming as super-awesome as possible. The down side of this was that she ended up being just too super-awesome, and it stretched the appropriate credibility, even for epic fantasy. It did have some good names for on-line handles, though. I have used “Ophana” a number of times.
- Another epic fantasy. People were divided into social classes based on what psychic powers they had, and their rulers were incarnations of their gods. The main character was a goddess born into the slave class of people with no powers. This one was actually pretty interesting, because the powers were determined by recessive genetic traits, so there were actual consequences to marrying outside your class—your kids would be slaves. The main reason I don’t go back to this one is that I’ve forgotten most of the plot. I tried to cannibalize the pantheon for a YA series idea I had a few months back, but that one got really depressing really fast, so I decided to put it in a mental file with these others.
- Dead Girls Don’t Date. My zombie novel. It’s about a girl zombie who can function as long as she eats brains on a regular basis, and to do so, she euthanizes people suffering in nursing homes. I created this one as the most ridiculous story I could think of where a decades-old creature inexplicably decides to go back to high school. I’m actually quite fond of it, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t come up with a plot for the first book. Maybe someday it will come off this list, but for now it’s stuck.
- Ralphie & Drevor. I have come up with two completely different story lines using these character names. In the first one, Drevor was a musician, and Ralphie was an IT worker in a wheelchair. They were twins with elemental powers on the run from an evil organization of mages. This one got abandoned because the last book had the same plot as a series I’m actually working on that I like better. The other Ralphie and Drevor were joined-at-the-hip, friends-since-childhood types, each trained to wield one of four elemental staves. Like others of my books, this one got abandoned because it got too depressing. Come to think of it, that’s happened to at least one other of my stories, making a total of three I’ve mentioned in this post. “Too depressing” could be a theme with me.
Anyway, the moral of the story is that I probably shouldn’t worry too much about running out of story ideas, not at the rate I throw them away. And, really, maybe I should come back to some of these. But not the book I wrote in high school, which I just realized is sitting in a box on the table in front of me. That I should probably just burn.
(Giveaway is now closed.)