Friday, 28 March 2014

My Second Novel: Legacy of Leporis

They say everyone has a novel in them.  Lots of people write that one novel and they're satisfied for the rest of their lives.  But for the true novelist, the first novel is merely the instigation in a lifelong addiction.

That's me.  I was fourteen when I wrote "Legacy of Leporis", a science fiction novel about the universe's greatest treasure--knowledge.

Four teens had studied The Great War at school, and how it nearly destroyed humanity. Now scattered across the galaxy, Humanity must rediscover all the knowledge it lost during The Great War.

Few people had heard of the myth of a library where the Leporine monks had squirreled away every scrap of human knowledge--as much as they could gather--before The Great War wiped it out.

If such a world existed, how could anyone ever find it?

Pretty much, this was a YA adventure quest where the kids hop about from planet to planet on some lame excuse of a holiday, and happen to run into another teen who just happens to know that the myth of Leporis is real.  Only no one believes her, etc, etc.  Eventually they find the library, to realise that it contained all the lost knowledge. Hurrah, Humanity is saved.  Sorry for the spoilers. I know you were dying to read this really lame tale.  

I completely failed this book in storytelling. I loved the concept of Humanity nearly wiping themselves and all their knowledge out and only a few intrepid lovers of information managed to rescue it all. Back in the mid-80's, this was a very cool idea.

Then someone introduced the Internet for mass consumption.  Today, this makes me realise several things:
  1. We've already got monks to squirrel away the whole of Humanity's knowledge. They're the guys who run Google and the Wayback Machine.  Not exactly hallowed sanctums.
  2. Teenage kids don't bounce from planet to planet.
  3. This novel will never, ever, see the light of day. No big loss.
Every novel teaches an author something.  This novel taught me that I should not let the opinions of others sway what I write.  Also, I can be good enough to run with the big dogs.

I love to talk about writing, mine, yours, someone else's. (Does it show?)  Back in the Day, when I shared my novel idea with someone, they said, "That sounds like [Asimov's] Foundation series.

I cannot tell you how devastated I was!  Someone else--a Master at that--had already written about this idea? If he has, then I'll never be able to get this novel published.  Went home and had a good cry.  I was a little aspiring author with no publishing credits to speak of.  Someone else had beaten me to a pretty good idea.

So I trunked the novel.  

Years later, I realise that novels are bought and sold not on the ideas, but the strength of writing.  I'd trunked the novel for the wrong reason.

Not to say it shouldn't be trunked; I'd written it very poorly. I'd have to completely revamp it should I ever wish to pitch for publication.  

I don't. 

I love the concept, and the Leporine monks, and Gamma Leporis IV, and the thought of preserving lost knowledge.  But I don't love this novel enough to want to bring it out of the darkness.

Kind of ironic, huh?

But I had proven to myself I could write a novel.  That alone has value.

I wish my next project did.

Her Grace had a penchant for Sci-Fi in her younger days. At this point, she's not sure if she wants to go back.  Only time will tell.

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