Has anyone noticed, that when taken as a whole, this is a really, really long story? I didn’t start out to write a long story. In fact, it was supposed to be just a short little sidetrack while I was writing the story “Revenge,” but somewhere along the way, I missed. By a lot! By an awful lot!
I missed by so much, that my word count for the edited version that I’m now posting out on Fictionmania is approximately 1,159,664 words (based on my latest calculations). If you do a little bit of internet research (such as at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_longest_novels ) you will find that if this was a legitimate piece of printed published literature, it would stand notably among the longest stories ever written.
It was never my intent to write such a behemoth. I didn’t even know it was that long until someone pointed it out to me after I had finished writing the darn thing. So those of you who have actually read all of the story can pat yourselves on the back for doing something notable – reading an entire story that stands among the longest pieces of fiction in history. Congratulations!
To the best of my recollection, I started writing the bet in February or March of 2009 and I didn’t finish it until February of this year – 2013. That’s four full years. A very long time to work on a story. Of course, I did write a lot of other things during that time as well, but I’m afraid that finishing The Bet became somewhat of an obsession for me. Even now, I still don’t think my obsession with the thing has entirely left me. It certainly has eased up somewhat though which is very good. All during the time I was writing it, I worried a lot about staying ahead of you, my readers. I’d like to think that I’ll be able to relax that mindset with the next story, but somehow I doubt I’ll be able to. Oh, and no, I’m absolutely not going to do a sequel to this thing!
Just as with everything else that I write, as I was writing The Bet, I never knew what I would be writing in each chapter. I did have some things planned out on a spreadsheet with each individual day of the bet listed, but most of the time when I started each chapter, I had very little idea at all what would be in it. Mostly, the spreadsheet held information such as how many days were left, whose dream I would be writing, and things like that. It did also contain some story ideas for where I wanted to put them into the story line, but mostly those ideas got added to the spreadsheet while I was writing the chapter before. So basically, for each chapter, I was mostly just winging it. The journey through the story was just as much a journey of discovery and surprise for me as I wrote it as it was (hopefully) for you as you read it.
One of the interesting elements in the story (to me) was making the old man at the mall – me. I didn’t know I was going to do that until I was halfway through that chapter. Then the idea just kind of hit me, and I liked it, so I put it in. I still like it!
Now here’s a little oddball piece of information about the story. And this is something that I seriously doubt anyone even noticed. It’s something I did with the dreams. Yeah, it’s a dumb little thing that most of you still won’t understand, but I understand it and I did it anyway.
Somewhere around chapter 11 or 12 I started mentioning dreams – just a little at first, but then in ever more detail. A few chapters later, I decided to use the dreams in all the chapters… but… with a plan in mind – sort of. If you examine the dreams, you’ll find that I started with kind of a countdown:
8 dreams from Chad,
then 7 dreams from Mel,
then 6 from Chad,
then 5 from Mel,
then 4 from Chad,
then 3 from Mel,
then 2 from Chad
But I still had plenty of chapters left over so…
For the next 11 chapters I alternated dreams between Chad and Mel in every chapter.
And finally, the last 8 chapters… the final week (except chapter 65)… I had dreams from both of them – alternating who had the first dream every chapter.
Yeah, I know it’s a dumb thing, but I found it interesting.
Most of the dreams had no major meaning behind them toward the story plot… a few did. A good many of them were mostly that person’s reactions to the events that had just occurred. A few of them did foreshadow coming events, but mostly my brain was just really scrambling to come up with something to write. The final dream for Chad is a good example of how desperate I got when I couldn’t come up with a single thing for him to dream about. Oddly, it’s my favorite dream. I still get a chuckle out of it every time I read the thing. What a movie that would make!
One of my ideas in this story has kind of caught the attention of a few people. That idea is the perch. I’ve heard from a few people who have actually built their own version of the thing. Who knows, maybe I’ve started something. I often wonder though if anyone has used any of my other ideas from this story.
I was asked recently if I think it’s possible to really make a diaper leak in only an hour and a half. I believe it can happen – with the right training. A while back, during one of my rare “play” periods, I did attempt to get a diaper to leak within the original two hour time limit. I had planned on getting my body overly hydrated before I started the test, but “life” happened and I didn’t get to do that. In fact, I almost didn’t get to play at all that night, but I finally decided to go ahead and try it anyway. I started the attempt as soon as I could that night, despite not having my body properly hydrated – at all. In fact, I don’t think I had anything to drink before I got home that night. But… I still managed to get an Attends diaper to leak in exactly two hours. And based on that quick experiment, I think it’s possible that someone with a lot more liquid in their system, who is used to peeing almost constantly, can get one of those things to leak sooner. Just my thinking. Whether it’s true or not doesn’t really matter. I wrote it into the story so it’s staying. Please don’t go trying to kill yourself trying to prove it one way or another – it’s just a story!
In the end, for better or worse, all I can say is, I did the best I could. And ultimately, I’m proud of myself for actually finishing this crazy thing! And more than that, I’m amazed at the number of readers who have tagged along for the ride. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all of you – and your support!
Next post, I’ll tell you a little about the next story. If you dare!