It occurred to me that I have this blog and I never really talk about my writing anymore. There’s a strange and long explanation of why that is but I guess it can be summed up thusly: I used to publish my fiction here, then I took it away. When I did that, for some reason I stopped talking about the writing and the process behind it.
Sure, I’ve done a couple of posts here and there, but I think I need to be a bit more consistent and do more updates, so that’s what today’s post is all about. I figure, the best way to invite myself to blog more about this project is to do a sort of ‘introduction’ post today to get it all started. I hope you’ll tag along for the journey. Here goes:
I’m a fiction writer. Science Fiction and fantasy are my bread and butter, that’s where I live and what I enjoy writing. In my younger days, I did a lot of fan fiction, but I now concentrate on my own, original stuff. I had several projects that I was working on simultaneously which was fun but exhausting, so I trimmed it all down and decided to focus on a single piece which is probably the smartest thing I’ve done in a while. The other projects are still there, they are just on hold while I complete this novel I’ve tentatively named “Sam Kane, a Novel of The New Universe”. I’ll probably come up with something flashier later, but that’s the working title.
My goal is to hit around 100K words and I’m just over 89K as of last night. A fan of Joss Whedon and a firm believer in women power (having been raised by my mother and grandmother – two very strong women), it wasn’t too much of a stretch to craft a story with a female protagonist. I decided early on that she would be strong but that strength would be tested (otherwise, where’s the fun and drama?). From the very first pages, I take her very sane, rational world and I turn it on its head, presenting her with the impossible and saying, “This really is the world you live in”. The rest of the book is about her trying to figure out her place in this new world, and how to survive the danger it represents to her and her family.
I really wanted to push the idea of family in this story, so I gave Sam the family that looks so Rockwellian (I’ve no idea if that’s a word or not, but it sounds good and describes well my intent) from the outside, but is really fractured and complicated on the inside, which is how I think family really is for most folks. I mean, we always see another person’s family at their best, rarely there for the difficult moments. I wanted to try and show both the good and the bad and the drama and stress that can come from familial responsibilities/duties colliding with our job. We’ll see how well I’ve done.
Coming in on the close of this novel, I find myself intentionally procrastinating on writing the end. It’s difficult on many levels. On the one hand, I’ve crafted this story that has been building to something and I want to deliver that high emotional finish. I’ve got it all in my head, some of it on the page, but it’s affecting me to write it just as I want it to affect the person who reads it. I find myself going down this road and thinking, “No! You can’t do that!” and I remember the books I’ve read where I was disappointed or appalled by the decision that a character makes that has horrible consequences for them and I realize someone might be thinking that about my characters. They might be cursing my name and tossing my book on their nightstand because they can’t believe I wrote what I just wrote, did what I just did to this character they’ve come to love. Does that stop me from writing what I’ve envisioned? No. But it still feels almost surreal to be doing it.
On the other hand, finishing it means letting people read it. I recenbtly read something that basically said writers are their own worst enemies. We get into this sort of mind trap where we tell oursleves that what we’re writing is just so much crap and everyone is going to hate it. Reading that made me pause because it was like someone had tapped into my own brain. I wish I had the link to the site, but the guy basically said we need to get over it. We write what we write, good or bad, and then we have to let it stand on it’s own. It’s true, but still difficult to get over. I’m trying though.
With the 3-day weekend coming up, I’m hoping I’ll have the time to do a big push and see me through to the end. I know I can do it. I just need to sit down and write, which is the most basic bit of advice any author gives anyone who wants to do this stuff for a living.