I originally called it Intrusion, then Namtillaku. The story (or the first ten chapters, really) came to me one night while I was sleeping. I dreamt that I woke from a nightmare with the ability to alter matter using my blood, and that I was fighting an elemental snake god. It was a crazy dream, and I still remember it vividly.
Fast-forward to 2013. I was in college, learning to be an Engineer. That dream is still in my head. Finally, on a particularly sleepless night, I penned the first draft of the first chapter of What Lies In Me. The chapter originally was filled with self-referential tangents, coupled with a nauseating feeling of tiredness and a confusing dream-state. At the time, I did not know that this would become a full story. As a matter of fact, that chapter sat on my hard drive for a while. Months passed, and I added the next bit of my dream. Then the next bit. I only really started writing after Chapter 5, and even then it was only a chapter every week or two.
Finally, in August 2015, I did it. I completed the first draft of What Lies In Me. It was terrible, and I loved it to death. I reread and edited the book numerous times, and even wrote an entire sequel over the next four months. The writing bug had bit me. No matter how bad I was at it, I could not help but write.
At first I wanted to publish What Lies In Me. I tried, back when I first discovered literary agents. I was rejected. I then sent the book out to a critique partner. That person opened my eyes a bit.
What Lies In Me, despite my best edits, had some major flaws. Characters hardly became characters until near the end of the book. The pacing was off. The tone was off. Everything was off.
I wanted to ignore the critique, but he was right. I looked at my current work and saw that it was already leagues ahead of What Lies In Me, even with far to go. Heck, the sequel to WLIM is even better, with well-defined characters and a sense of tone. It was clear that I needed to rewrite my first book if I ever wanted it to see release.
I couldn’t do it. I have no time. There are too many projects I have to work on, and WLIM has fallen by the wayside.
What Lies In Me is not the greatest story. It isn’t written that well. It is a 40k-word action-filled book that relies on world-building and a structural gimmick more than characters and pacing. I’m not planning on fixing it.
I have now, over the past 4-5 months, released What Lies In Me on Wattpad, a free publishing site. It is a flawed story, but it still has a story to tell. I am not ashamed of my past. Read it if you wish, read it for its redeeming qualities, and read it so that you can understand. Becoming a good writer is a long process. I may not be there yet. But I know where I’ve been, and I know where I am going.
On another note, I may release the drafted sequel at some point, just for fun. I really do like some parts of these books. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll come back and fix these flawed stories at some point. For now, though, best to focus on Disbelief Suspended and Godless.
See you around!