I have been working on an idea for almost half a year now. It started with a single character and now she has grown to have a host of companions, almost everyone of whom has a back story and a destiny to fulfil. They have complex relationships amongst them and these relationships change as time passes and loyalties shift.
So far so good. I seem to be treading the frustrating, hair-tearing path of many successful authors before me. I might even see a book out of it some day.
But somewhere deep inside me is this utter conviction that no matter how well the story turns, no matter that I untangle all the annoying discrepancies and conflicts and no matter that I finally do think up a climax awesome enough to justify all the build up – this story will never ever be what I’m attempting to make it. Epic.
Maybe I don’t have the smarts for it. I suspect though that I simply don’t have the experience. This story might work out, might not, but with my current level of knowledge and understanding of the world it’ll never resonate with the hearts and minds of readers a thousand miles away from me. I need it to resonate. I need it to raise goosebumps.
And for that I need to write books like these —
The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
The Kingkiller Chronicles (Day One and Two) by Patrick Rothfuss
The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
(Click the images to conjure goodreads pages)
These books are what Epic is all about. Everyone of them clever, though even clever has a hard time catching up with Megan Turner’s Queen’s Thief, and everyone of them staying with you for not just days but years. These stories make an impression, leave you with the feeling that the author sees the world a little clearer than we do and that gosh! aren’t they just brilliant? Yes they are. And damn I wish I was too.