More like I finished a book. Finally. Really. You can buy it here.
If you’ve known me for a while and you’ve been around since way back in the old livejournal days (God, that feel so dated it’s almost embarrassing) then you know about Unlucky Seven.
I’ve mentioned it in this blog on a few occasions, mostly using it as an excuse in the long lapse between blog entries. It is, actually, a real and tangible thing. Well, as real as words typed on a screen can be.
Some of you still reading from way back when may remember that I used to post chapters of this story on a separate livejournal (there’s that feeling again) as a sort of serial. I had at least two or three people who I considered fans that kept up with it as it grew ever more monstrous.
It got to be too big. 60+ chapters. Over 2 million words. At one point, I said to myself that enough was enough. If I ever wanted this thing to hit print, I couldn’t keep going, especially since the narrative had grown out of my control with continuous foreshadowing to things that were never realized or were simply forgotten about leading up to a time travel story arc. What can I say? The last livejournal posts were made in the summer of 2008 (just went to check for sure, THAT was a trip down memory lane…) and the last parts of the gigantic ridiculous original tale were written sometime around 2010. They weren’t publicized as the audience had largely dried up. I kept working and, let me tell you, I’m glad I kept the rest of it behind closed doors. It was utter travesty with absolutely no direction. I blame the fact that I was watching LOST with severe interest at the time.
It was upon this realization in 2010 that I decided it was time for an overhaul. I read through it, hated most of it, liked some of it, and decided that my original idea of chopping it up into bite-sized chunks for mass consumption would not be as simple as that. There were so many problems and I was guilty of pride in not noticing them. This work, which had taken most of my creative time (between ranting about things and arranging fictional fisticuffs), was a literal monster.
The first thing I realized was that initially it had taken fifty (that’s 5 x 10) chapters in a story about superheroes to get to any kind of real, major, tangible conflict. I’m talking over a million words before a serious blow was thrown. There had been minor conflicts, sure, but not to really resolve anything. I created some of the most amazingly super-powered people and did next-to-nothing with them for the majority of their existence on the printed page. Obviously, I couldn’t just chop it off at a random chapter. The story needed a climax – a major event – before the first manageable (read: not 500 page) installment could end.
The tool belt was broken out. The rewrite had begun.
I started hacking away using the original monstrosity as source material. I started to cherry pick the best parts and stuff them into a neat little package. Entire chapters survived because, again, I was too proud to eliminate a majority of the work I’d already done. After a year or so, I had it down to about thirty chapters with a definitive ending including a cliffhanger into what I planned to be the next book. I was fairly pleased with what I had Frankenstein-ed together enough to start submitting to publishers.
Dozens of rejection letters came. After really reading over it and evaluating, I wasn’t surprised.
Chapter one was garbage. It would have to be redone. Chapter two wasn’t much better. Something I stated as untrue in chapter seven was suddenly made crucially true in chapter twenty-one because it just had to be there. The pacing wasn’t right. The ending was flimsy. Even the cliffhanger wasn’t well executed. As a whole, I was displeased.
I put it down for a year. I stepped away and didn’t touch anything. I tried to move on to other projects. I tried to write something else but that specter, the shadow of that giant, loomed over me. I knew what had to be done.
I started with a ground level rewrite and I did it the right way this time. I outlined everything just for the sake of having notes. I knew where I wanted the story to go, I just had to write my way there. I changed so much that the tone of the entire work was permanently altered. Character dynamics, interactions, places, people, situations… nothing looked the same. It was like blowing up your hometown, leaving for a decade, and coming back to something completely different yet still somehow familiar.
As typical and pretentious as it may sound, I found the voice of the work. I figured out the devices which might help to set it apart from its contemporaries. Eventually, after poring over it time and again, it was complete.
The concept for Unlucky Seven came to me in 2002. I started writing it in 2004. That’s an entire decade this story has been added to, chipped at, broken down, reconstructed, played with, rearranged, and untangled. Ten years later, it was finally what I wanted it to be.
It feels like an achievement that it’s now out for public consumption.
I got tired of waiting for publishers and literary agents to get back to me and tell me they weren’t interested or that the market wasn’t right or that their house had another similar project in the works. I wanted this out there and I wanted it out there now. A friend suggested Amazon as an outlet and, after some serious research, I decided that self-publishing would allow me to keep a tighter grip on my beloved IP and I hope that I’m right.
With no excuses left to hold me back, I pushed the go button. So, now we’re going. Hopefully we’ll keep going and keep going well.
A cover design is all that is holding back a print-on-demand version of the book, by the way, but if you want it cheap, I recommend the Kindle version. Kindle reader is available for just about every platform from PC to Android to iOS, so it’s not just limited to one particular brand of eReader. If you’ve enjoyed my non-fictional words in the past, I humbly ask that you pick up a copy of U7. Swag will be forthcoming as well (there’s a logo, which means merch can be produced with relative ease).
I thank you, my loyal audience, for all the times you’ve read and commented. Now, I call on you to help a brother out. Spread the word about Unlucky Seven. Get your friends to buy it. Get your family to buy it. Get your enemies to buy it. Write a review for it on its Amazon page. Most importantly, get ready for a sequel. It won’t take ten more years, I can promise you that.
Keep fighting the good fight.