I too am an unpublished writer! I am currently writing several novels... But I'm mainly sticking to a main one right now. It's a King Arthur novel (They seem like a dime a dozen, I know) but I'm incorporating some interesting elements, including characters from the Welsh Mabinogion, which fits well with Arthurian legend in some narrative vein. I have even begun creating a new language that borrows from both normal English pronunciation and Welsh/Gaelic words (native Welsh words are unkind to our humble English attempts at pronunciation).
Another novel of mine takes place between the golden age of piracy and the Revolutionary War in an era known as the era of privateering. Most notable for the Seven Years War. The story follows one Adam Wright, a son of a carpenter who goes on a glorious adventure, but with privateers, slave traders, and the American Revolution. It revolves around a special (fictional) document that predates the Declaration of Independence and sets into motion the events of people in three continents (England, France and the American Colonies). Characters like Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin and Henrietta Howard make appearances and the fictional characters of Adam Wright molds these characters in small to large parts by merely being in a part of their history. This is put on hold now since I want it to be great, but I need to do a lot more research to make it the way I envision it. Unlike code, people are unwilling to read v2.4 of the story when I update it.
My King Arthur book follows a 16 year old kid named Arthur after his father who was the King Arthur of old and died on a great battlefield by the hand of Lancelot (not Mordred as the Welsh annals have shown). This 16 year old kid actually is from the present times, 1983 United States, but he was transported here by Emrys (Merlin) to protect him from the evils of Lancelot in a corrupted Avalon. Eventually Arthur meets Morgan a young girl bearing magical talent and re-enters the land to search for a missing boy. Turns out it becomes a lot more involved and he may eventually take over the throne to claim his father's kingdom for himself.
As for the historical fiction, it's not a YA novel and is far more mature and darker. I'm trying to write it like an HBO show, keeping the mature themes of Starz's Black Sails, or Game of Thrones in mind.
There is an interesting history here though that has never been done before. There is a privateer, endorsed by Thomas Paine who wrote the pamphlet Common Sense. That privateer was known as William Death, and he was no fake. He took on contracts in the English Chanel and eventually dies in combat one day. I'm trying to mold him into a drinking, heavy-hitting, swashbuckling pirate privateer who does not do things "by the books". Adam Wright finds himself aboard his ship, and starts a grand plot involving secret societies, the French and a plot to take down the idea of a "United States" before the concept ever came about.
William Death hates the french, and stops at nothing to seek revenge. He is one of the characters in this book that are a part of a secret society started by Henrietta Howard, who was the King of England's mistress. She dislikes the English rule, and so started this society to turn the American Colonies into an independent nation. No "taxation without equal representation" as the Tea Party members said. Now in my book, I'm thinking of having Adam Wright, the main hero, mutter these words first, and so therefore starting a small blip in history. I want him to be the "Vessel of Instigation". Much like how Forrest Gump was through a later era of American history.
My King Arthur book has been in and out of production for nearly 12+ years! I started a book way back in early middle school. So it has been a long, long journey to get to where I am with it today. I think I'm on my 4th rewrite. The first attempts were just really bad.
Oh yeah. You definitely need to read The Wizard Knight. It's about a teenage kid from around 1950s or '60s America who, on a camping trip, wanders out into the woods and ends up in an original, but Arthurian-inspired fantasy world. The twist with this one is, when he wakes up there, he has the body of an adult. So that's how people see him and treat him. At first he just wants to find a way back home, but he ends up getting caught up in the affairs of the kingdom.It's treatment of elves and faries and magic is particularly interesting, as is the conceit of a child trapped in an adult's body as the main character. It's multi-layered world is also something very fascinating that I haven't seen done elsewhere. I'm sure it has been, it's just rare enough that I haven't encountered it.The whole book is framed as an epistolary from the boy to his older brother back home in America, so it's strictly first-person, which both allows the story to move at a very brisk pace (if something didn't happen directly to him, even if it happens moments later to a character he was just speaking to, it doesn't happen on page) and cover a lot of ground in two relatively-short books, and lets us have direct insight into this boy-in-a-man's-body as he deals with that complication.
Ooh, if you're doing something HBO-ish, have you tried writing in unusual ways? Because I also have a story that's intended to be HBO-like (actually, my inspiration is ABC's Lost), and I've actually decided to write it as a script first, and then fill in narration to make it a book.I'm a very lazy, negligent writer, and I've found in recent months that breaking away from writing prose in the typical fashion helps. I'm writing another story as a play-by-post forum RPG, but with myself, and that's also coming along nicely, as is the script-y one. Both coming along much more nicely than my traditional efforts at writing prose in the typical way.
I meant something a little different by "relationship to one's books," though. I meant in a more abstract, general sense. Like, I mentioned how a lot of authors say that their writings are like their children, for example.You hear a lot of talk like, "oh, I don't have a favorite among my books, they're all equally important to me," and they'll say they religiously avoid reading reviews because reading a negative review about their book is like someone saying something terrible about their children and they just can't bear to hear that.
Oh so as for that kind of relationship, I did hold my older King Arthur stories close, but on this latest rewrite it has just become an old friend, because technically that's what it is. My other writings like the Adam Wright story I feel detached from and sort of alien to. If that story tanked or got huge I wouldn't really care either way, though certainly I'm hoping it'd be big someday.
In fact I held on to my stories so close I actually didn't read much else in terms of fantasy. It may have been my favorite genre but I had fears I'd read something I did that was done already. Nowadays, I rather enjoy reading new fantasy, not because it was done over and over again, but because it can help me offer new perspectives, new insights into what may or may not happen.
Stephen King, for example, is an animal. He says things like, "If you hadn't finished a novel in three months, there's no way you're willing to go back to it and finish it off... Might as well start a new novel." But, dammit, I'm not a plot-providing machine! Sometimes a good story has good lore and it my mean taking time away to think of these new histories and areas. And I'm not a writer by trade, it's just one of very many hobbies that I have. I could write easily a chapter a month and finish in 4 years.
Never finished Rings myself, but maybe I should. Especially with as many modern fantasy authors trying to distance themselves from it and maybe even talk a little smack on it. I watched a panel on magic systems on Youtube the other day and there was a little bit of an anti-Tolkein bent. Like, "here's what he did wrong, and that's why my magic works this different way." And of course George RR Martin says a lot of "with all due respect" stuff about Tolkein, and he's a pretty big voice in fantasy at the moment. I wanna read it to confirm my suspicions -- that it's actually WAY better than any of the stuff of any of the atuhors smacktalking it.
I think all writers are like that at a young enough age. If you visit writing forums, you'll see that a lot -- "hey, I have this idea but I don't want anyone to steal it, but I want some critique, so sign this contract and send me an encrypted email if you wanna look over my stuff." I was like that, too.
Sorry if I'm talking your ear off, by the way. All my RL friends have heard me blab about my writing so much that I'm starting to feel guilty, lol. And I'm not a member of any writing forums.