Yes, actually. I cleaned up a lot of work, spent an inordinate amount of time proofreading a mind-bending novel (I, Pawn Dreamer), a Modern Fantasy (David and His Shade), and several short stories. I’ve also spent a lot of time crashing and burning.
I don’t know about the rest of you writers out there, but for every finished novel I false start two or three times. Lately that number has been down because I only wrote promising stories I spent a lot of time thinking about. Given my lack of scholarly employment OR debate, my social time is stunted and stilted, leading to a lot of “COOL!” ideas that fizzle due to lack of stimulation.
In fact, in the past four days I’ve rekindled my interest in the first novel I finished–irreparable and will likely ne’er see the light of day, mind you–due to the voracious worldbuilding I underwent to make the silly thing work. I’ll spare the gritty details, but a career warrior and a career scholar, two brothers, return home to find their mother dead after living nearly ten years in a mausoleum and wonder why. Scholar finds trapped gods. Warrior finds secret societies, plots, and violence ensues. Warrior even finds a warrior woman that is cooler than he is. In the end, Scholar inavertently finds the answer to his nagging question–why did she live in the mausoleum–by breaking a seal for a god. Warrior finds the answer to HIS nagging question–why did she die in the height of her health–by killing his treacherous neighbor and starting a kingdom-wide war on the most powerful secret society ever. Yum, right?
Bore. Maybe not. Too much proofing required to fix it up. Too much work. It’s in dual first-person narrative, difficult to read, and regurgitates the same scenes through two different eyes. Like a murder-mystery where everyone knows some pieces but not the whole deal, and everyone’s violently prideful to the point of keeping everything to its, collective, self.
Right. So the religions in the story are brilliant, and although the story itself is a little too Whodunnit for my taste, the religions are worth holding onto.
Nonetheless before I got to the point of screaming, Eureka! at the worldbuilding, I fizzled on a time-travel novel that might never be finished now (even though the basis is strong and solid). I also fizzled on something else, but I can’t remember exactly what.
That’s the lack of inspiration for you. I live in a poor box, with four poor walls, and a poor bathroom, with bills that need to be paid. True, drama and dreaming are the only two ways I write with inspired breath, but this kind of drama saps me. I need social interaction (that’s free, no less), I need connections with the rest of the world, and I need a towering amount of debate. NOBODY IN AMERICA LIKES TO DEBATE ANYMORE. The moment you say, “I don’t agree,” they say, “I’m offended.” End of debate.
I wish I had Neil Stephenson on speed dial just to call at all hours of the night and debate. In America, art is dead. Creativity is wishy-washy and requires affluence (or underage writing. Never let your kids pursue major publication before they’re 21. If they’re old enough to drink, they’re old enough to write). People are scared of people. This shouldn’t be the case.
Too much Big Brother up in this piece. Anyway, the unemployment might be over as soon as Monday next week, and I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled writing.
Oh, my latest project mutated into a four-generation post-apocalyptic story that winds around to present day, then to the future. Talk about a mind-bend. My Black Box is civilization simply repeats itself in a 200k year arc of civilization, separated by ice ages, with the same people playing the same parts over and over again. Kind of like Cloud Atlas but it’s much less about Causality and Karma and much more about the infinite soul. Seacrest, out.