After converting all of my entries to WordPress, I noticed that I have only a couple of entries in the Fiction file. For all my talk of being a writer, I haven’t given you many examples of my fiction writing. If I hadn’t bothered with categories, I wouldn’t have noticed how slim my Fiction section is. I feel like a fraud.
The fact that I haven’t shared my fiction with you doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I write fiction at least three times a week and I have been working on a novel that I have been thinking about for quite awhile. I’ve tortured the closest people in my life (Mike, Stacey and Dan) with my preliminary chapters. Just because they love me, doesn’t mean they want to read my work. Fiction is such a fickle fancy that I can’t depend on impressing my intimates with my tastes.
The novel I’m working on right now is a science fiction piece about time travel. Ambigo Thomas is an elite medical professional called to be on a team of specialists sent back in time to find the truth about Jesus Christ. He finds himself as the sole atheist on the team, which is financed by the Catholic Church. He struggles to keep the team’s focus logical and studious in the dangerous and primitive society we call The Dawn of Christianity. The title of the story is, Looking for Christ.
Something in me wants to keep it a secret. I want to hide the chapters and the plot and even the title from the eyes of the world. I want to finish it before I let others see it. I want to hide the chapters in the desk drawer next to the finished copy of The Falstaff. After five years of stagnating in my desk, The Falstaff is reviled in my mind. I am ashamed at its clumsy writing. It was written before everyone had a cell phone in their pocket, which destroys the story line. Sure, I could place it in the early nineties when it was written, but that isn’t the only plot hole in it. No, it sat in the drawer too long and it will never be a good novel no matter how much I rework it.
Why am I tempted to subject Looking for Christ to the same fate? Fear. I’m scared that someone will steal my plot. I’m scared that someone will make fun of my writing. I’m scared that a typographical error will embarrass me. I’m scared that publishers won’t want my book if it has been on the Internet. I’m scared that I will never finish the book and that failure will be there for the world to see. I’m scared that I will need to change chapters and they will already be published online. I’m scared of so many things that I have four chapters waiting on my hard drive. Instead of posting them when they were done, I’ve started to let them stagnate.
To Hell with all of that. So what if someone steals my plot? I could write ten stories with this plot line and each of them would be different. So what if someone makes fun of my writing? At least I’m writing every day as opposed to most people. Every word I write makes me a better writer. So what if I make a typographical error? Guess what?! I’m going to make tons of them. I’ll do my best to edit it, but only fresh eyes can see mistakes like these. I’m offering these chapters up to hundreds of fresh eyes every day. So what if publishers don’t want my book because it’s already published on the Internet? The publishing world is changing and maybe I’m my own publisher. Maybe publishers will be more likely to notice me if I have a server-crashing website. So what if I never finish the book? I’m more likely to finish it if my throngs of eager readers keep asking me when Chapter Five is coming online. So what if I need to change things in the chapters. This is the Orwellian future that we have all worried about. Big Brother isn’t watching, but all of us Wilsons are changing the past every day on our weblogs.
As of today, NO MORE FEAR. I refuse to hide my fiction anymore and tomorrow morning I will have Chapter One online for all of you to read.