It’s time for the monthly meeting of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I’ve been thinking about my hiatused projects and whether I should return to all of them, and how some of them may need to be changed.
I certainly plan to return to Green Sunrise and Justine Grown Up, the second and third books in my unexpected contemporary historical family saga. I really don’t want to believe that Little Ragdoll was meant to be the only book with these characters. There just wasn’t enough planning that went into the further volumes I decided to write. And I needed more of a break away from these people instead of immediately continuing to write about them.
I definitely want to someday resume my alternative history saga about the Whites winning the Russian Civil War and young Aleksey coming to the throne as Tsar Aleksey II in 1925. But I’m just not sure my original plan would work or feel natural. I like the idea of having it be told from the journals of five young women living in different generations, all of them affected by and knowing, or coming to know, the Tsar, and padded out with newspaper clippings.
But now that I’ve done more thinking, it seems a bit gimmicky and awkward, rather like a certain massively overrated book narrated by the Angel of Death. These five girls would not only need to know Aleksey, but also observe or know about all these historical events and things in his personal life, like his relationship with the commoner he’s finally forced to marry after refusing marriage for a long time (not wanting to risk passing on his hemophilia). It would probably be better in my regular third-person omniscient.
I had a lot of soft sci-fi/futuristic books planned out at the age of twelve, and still have all the copious notes I made for them. But a lot of them aren’t plotted stories so much as just basic ideas, more focused on various futuristic dwellings (flying city, floating city, space colony, deserted Earth, space farm) than a clear story arc.
The one I got furthest into is the one I most want to resume. That one actually has a semblance of a plot and a well-developed future society, both on Earth and in the space colony near Jupiter, in the first decade of the 31st century. I also began one set in Australia in the early 2020s, in a back-to-nature, classic-rock-worshipping, Esperanto-speaking community gone terribly wrong and creepy. That also has a solid story arc, and would probably be considered more speculative fiction or dystopia (REAL dystopia) than sci-fi.
The other one I started begins in Maine in 2050 and quickly moves to a space colony. That has potential as a story about culture clashes with the protagonist’s new best friend’s family, and the colony eventually being knocked off its orbit and floating off into space, no way of getting back to Earth or any other nearby colonies.
And then there’s one that originally was set much further into the future and with a rather different, not really scientifically accurate premise. Now I want it to be set 5 billion years into the future, as the protagonist and her family race against time to escape Earth before the Sun becomes a Red Giant. I’d like to think that humanity will still exist in 5 billion years, even if Planet Earth doesn’t escape the Sun’s evolution.
I also have an idea, similar to the one above, for something set even further into the future, when people live under giant glass domes on a desiccated Earth, lit by artificial light, the former Sun now a small White Dwarf twinkling in the night sky.
Is it worth trying to write something that’s been on hiatus for a long time, or to come up with a plot or story arc where there is none? Do I just have too many book ideas for my own good?