I’ve made a book – well, a mess of 150k words that isn’t quite a book – into a download. It’s a sort of fantastical musical grimy flesh-and-metal magicpunk futuristic neo-classical god-knows-what, about a girl with synaesthesia and a golden bird. I wrote it in 2007 and never restructured it, but after some convincing from a couple of people I’ve decided to let it out into the wild.
I don’t think I can do much better here than to quote from my introduction…
This book isn’t finished.
Oh, I reached the end. I wrote this in 2007 as my first Nanowrimo project, just throwing down words on a page to prove to myself that I could.
I’d taken on a ridiculously complicated task. Multiple strands of plot, huge amounts of world building, characters all over the place, with no clear pre-plotted structure. I didn’t know what I was doing. But I got to 150k words, reached a sensible stopping point, and reworked the prose several times. But I couldn’t face restructuring it. It didn’t require minor surgery, it needed a rebuild from the ground up. In fact, the fundamental premise might be flawed.
And so it sat for 9 years. However, although it was a failure, it changed my world. If not for this book, I wouldn’t have realised that I could write. I wouldn’t be running a writing company today. If not for those three months of intense writing, my life would be very different.
One day, maybe I’ll come back. Throw away the book, but take the characters, the premise, and some of the world building and start again.
But for now, the characters have been mouldering a drawer for long enough. And I like them. Whenever I read this monster of thing that was written by a different person – me nine years ago – I find a lot to dislike and wince with embarrassment at. But I also find gems and surprises and things I love. Rikke’s synaesthesia, the Tall Man, Gift, the Prater, Temira, the golden bird, that impossible… thing… deep in the Core. Ratjacks, terflings, scowls and duels on Highside.
It doesn’t feel fair on the characters to leave them locked up any more. So here it is, warts and all. I hope you enjoy it. Consider this fair warning!