There have been some interesting reactions to yesterday’s ICFN entry, which I may address later. For now, I’m trying to get the laptop’s graphics up to Azerothian snuff, and in the course of doing so, I’ve seen the word ‘prototype’ flash once or twice. That got me thinking.
A lot of a writer’s drafts could be considered prototypes, the embryonic form of a new work. Even works themselves can be prototypes for something better. At least, that’s been my experience.
The novel I wrote in high school was the prototype for the Lighthouse project that I’ve dropped in the shadows somewhere since everybody’s doing modern supernatural covert stuff. A short story I jotted down a few years ago was the prototype for various attempts to tell the story I’m now working on as my current long-form project. Even some of my character back-stories have gone through prototypical phases. As much as I loved playing Gothmatum as a dark elf necromancer back in EverQuest, his story wasn’t quite as good as the one that informed his creation as a blood elf warlock in World of Warcraft.
Have other writers found themselves in a similar line of thought? Let me know into your thought processes, other writers. Where have your efforts come from? What shattered literary eggshells have given birth to what’s been picked up by agents or become available on pre-order on Amazon or earned you a bunch of cash from people in some other means?
Seriously, I’m curious about this. I hold on to all of my old works because, crap as most of it is, there’s some diamonds in there somewhere and I don’t want to toss them out with the pulpy bathwater.
May 23, 2010 at 10:31 pm
My trigger is “What if I add…”
In 7th grade, I wrote a short story about a princess who discretely teaches the cute kitchen boy to read and dance and such. No fantasy elements, and cheesy to the extreme.
A couple years later, I relooked at it, and added a quest to recover several important magical artifacts, a few more characters, and a dastardly villain.
Then I decided that I didn’t want to write it as one book, I wanted to do an epic, so I spread it out into 7. But then I decided that seven was a little too many and trimmed it down to five.
Now I’m not entirely sure what to do with it, lol.