My next writing project – Far Reach – has just been trunked. By that, I mean that I won’t be working on it for a while.
For those not familiar with the term, Trunk Novels fall into two categories:
1. One that should never, ever be seen again.
2. One that needs time for either the story or the author to grow.
In the first case, sometimes the novel is forgotten forever. Maybe it just doesn’t work or the story falls apart or something else happens that invalidates the story. Sometimes parts of it are picked out and used in other, better stories. It all depends on the author. I believe Brandon Sanderson did that with one of his Mistborn books, merging several novels into one.
Far Reach falls into the second. It was supposed to be a more futuristic novel, a world in which Earth has barely survived an alien invasion and is seeking to get back into space before the aliens return for round two. There was a lot good in FR but as I plotted out the story, I discovered that it wasn’t going to be constrained to one novel. It was going to be a trilogy, at least.
Writing a standalone novel is difficult enough. Ask any writer. Stringing a singular story over three? At this point in my writing career, I don’t feel like I have the skills to do that.
Asymonte (my first book) has been trunked for almost six years now. It’s meant to be part of a six-book series and that’s not just six times the work of writing a single book. It’s more like 20 or 30. It’s a challenge. I will get back to it but only when I’m ready to give it the care it really deserves. (Sorry, Steph!)
There is no real shame in this. Many authors have done it. Stephen King, for example, released in 2007 the book Blaze. That was trunk novel started in 1973 – 34 years prior to publication.
Of course, I’m not going to stop writing. Heck no. I’ve already got another project in mind (tentatively titled Favors). The plotting is going good and it looks like it’ll be around a 90,000 word standalone book.
Which is good. I need a few of those under my belt before I tackle the big boys.