What Comes Up, Must Go Down

On the page, that is. When inspiration sneaks up on one, one mustn’t question it, regardless of what irrational requests it makes of one.
So, after my fallow time, the project that wants to be written is not the one I thought would tap me on the shoulder.
Back in the dark ages, the third quarter of 2000, to be exact, I sent a story to the Writers of the Future contest, and it won an Honorable Mention. That story was called The Summer King, and went through a number of revisions before I came to a couple of (assisted) realizations:
A Summer King is a real thing, and my story isn’t about that real thing. A Summer King is a leader chosen to rule for a short period of time (usually a year) and then is sacrificed. That’s right. You get to be king for a year, but then we kill you. Pretty raw deal. But it inspired an absolutely stunning young adult novel by Alaya Dawn Johnson called The Summer Prince which you should read (as soon as you finish reading this fascinating and super-informative blog entry, of course.)
So there’s that. And then my writing group told me it was really a novel. Or a parable. But through the years and the rewrites some concepts had developed within the story that I was too in love with to throw out. No, I insist to myself, they must be expanded! The coolness must be elaborated and shared!
Sigh. Everything I write wants to be a novel. This one will be. It is no longer about what it used to be about, which was never about a king that gets killed after a year of rule. Therefore, what results will not be called The Summer King.
But it will be cool! Stay tuned.

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