Monday, August 29, 2011

You Tell Me: One Book (to rule them all)

I was chatting with one of my talented book creators today, and as we work toward narrowing in and understanding what her next book is trying to become, intriguingly, we both--separately--found ourselves asking the the same question: if she could only ever publish one more book, what would she want it to be about?

Interesting how it's a question with the kind of urgency that brings all of one's creative efforts into a new light, isn't it? (Warning: it can turn your efforts unnecessarily earnest, too, and that's not always the right answer for every writer, so take the whole question with some salt).

In any case, I'm turning it over to you to mull over in the comments, or just for yourself independently: if you got only one shot--or only one more shot--at this whole publishing thing, what would that One Book (TO RULE THEM ALL Ahem. Couldn't resist! I blame my brothers.) be about? And once you've found that answer, how does knowing it affect your creative process?

And does this picture make you giggle as much as it does me?


  1. Ooh, I'm rising to this challenge!
    Stories within a story, worlds inside worlds, like a russian doll. Something like The Neverending Story or The Blind Assassin.
    Parallel plots, multiple points of view.
    A book that trasngresses traditional ideas about "audience". A book where child characters are privileged alongside adult characters and all their stories are told with the same weight and importance.
    A book that balances poetic language, philosophical ideas and a page turning plot.

  2. This is such a difficult question, but I think I'd write the book I'm currently writing. Except, of course, it'd be much longer and different because right now, it's a planned 1st book in a trilogy. And I'd probably take much much longer to write it -- because if it were my only legacy, I'd like to put in not only my current best, but my best ever.

  3. So after my car accident that left me asking those questions on all levels of my life, I'd have to say that the book I'd make would truly hold the essence of ME...the kind of ME that you can only discover by stepping outside yourself and looking in. Seeing what it is about yourself that has reason to voice itself to the universe. Which sounds deep and mighty and changing. But I think that the essence of what makes us unique is actually the same essence that makes us the common man. So back to your question: I think my story would be one in which it is remarkably simple yet with windows to much more depth if you're willing to look.

  4. I hope that I get to read all these fabulous books one day, friends!

  5. Thank you for this post! I've been feeling wishy-washy for a couple weeks about tackling my next big project. But you've inspired me to go for it. This will be an onion ring to rule them all!

  6. That is a Big Question. Gosh. So... that means I shouldn't answer it, right? Just think a lot about it--maybe every day, every time I sit down to write, let it percolate. I think I'll do that.

    And yeah, definite giggles.