This spring, I started writing what will probably be a book. But it’s not just any book—it’s a book that only a handful of people I know could really understand. My sister and I created some characters back during our adolescence and we’ve bandied them about over the past twenty years, making up stories about them, but seldom writing anything down.
That’s changing. I’ve written a couple of stories based on these characters, though my most successful undertaking altered them enough so that you didn’t have to be in on the joke to understand the story.
This new story is different. It’s a sequel of sorts to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is centered around the characters we created. Some of the stuff I’ve written would be understandable to a regular audience—like the adult Veruca Salt’s interview on the Charlie Rose Show, which I’m pretty proud of. But the scene where the angel fish breaks into my old high school and frames a couple of clowns as the culprits would just take too much explaining. Probably.
At the rate this thing is going, it’s going to be pretty long. I might be able to salvage it for some other projects, but for the most part, it’s to amuse my sister, my other sister, a friend of mine, my girlfriend, and myself. Sometimes I feel like I should be concentrating my energies on more useful projects, but other times I feel that this one should be classed as useful.
So how many other people do this sort of thing? Who else invests lots of time in ventures with a very limited audience which will probably have no commercial value whatsoever? Or am I alone in my insanity?