My fic isn’t making the deadline for the latest MGS/ contest. It came kinda close, I got a second draft out of it. But it needs a serious overhaul into 3rd draft before I can release it to the public and not die of shame. Not enough time for a slow writer like me, too much real life angst going on, rough week at work, and I can always release it later.
Salinger died last week. The phonies make a big fuss over how he lived as a recluse. In this age of mandatory self-promotion and ceaseless whoring writers submit to to make their bread, I envy the old writers. They got to keep hold of their privacy. Shut out the idiot babble so some serious work can get done. Who needs reviews of wips, or critics and haters and rabid fans to mess with one’s head? Just you and the page and your vision. Pure.
(No, I don't resent any of my readers and reviewers. I don't look down on them at all. Quite the opposite, really. I consider myself fortunate in that matter far more than I deserve. This is the published professional world of fiction I'm talking about here.)
Yet, shutting out the real world in regards to your writing can carry serious consequences. Probably not for masters like Salinger or Lee, but for us mere mortal writers. One might become obsessed, the writing becomes self indulgent and masturbatory.
No simple answers.
I’m babbling all this nonsense, because recently I’ve come to understand how much I enjoy my long streaks of non-internetz-publishenatin’. Not updating means not getting caught up in waiting, agonizing over what the reader response will be, if any. It does tend to be a distraction to on-going work, even if I love getting reviews and feedback, postive or negative. Safe in my cocoon I don’t have to fret about what others will think. I just let the writing pile up. And plan. And lurk. And wait.
Yet, perhaps I’ve spent too much time alone in my own head, where my writing is concerned. Alas, no workshops for fan fic writers. No chance to let the light of fresh views shine upon my musty labors, unless I show work in progress. And I can never let that happen.
There is a story that is not a story that’s been haunting me for a while. Ever since my first big project failed, I’ve wanted to write that one huge story that would storm in and change video game fan fic forever.
I have long since realized that’s an impossible, and silly, dream. Intarweb fandoms don’t work that way, crossover-appeal is limited, and there have been and currently are far better writers than I putting forward their good works. And nothing changes. Over in original fic land, there’s still a shred of hope. But in the world of fan fic, forget change.
I’m not bitter about it. In the end, all I ever wanted when I started this gig was to entertain. Maybe even make someone feel something gen-u-ine a rare once in a while. And I still have a mean chance at that.
So, the story that is not a story. I call it that because most of the time when I begin a project, I know what I want the story to be. A reimaging of a classic canon moment. A desperate team of heroes fighting impossible odds against insert super villain here. A dark and grim deconstruction about a hypothetical end to a canon’s narrative.
Even if the story has changed much from my initial expectations, I’m still able to complete it and revise it. I have or I do figure out what the point of it all is.
But this story. This damn story. It’s a skin walker. A shape shifting chimera. I see a cool western movie and the story whispers “hey, wouldn’t it be cool if you based my narrative structure around Blood Meridian? Or how about the Seven Samurai/The Magnificent Seven? You’ve always loved those movies.”
I read a bad ass comic book. Some epic crossover or one of those dark Days of Future Past type deals or a manga serial saga. And the story says, “Hey, tart me up like that. You know you wanna still be writing fan fic when you’re 35, 40, 55 years old, right?”
I see a movie, read a book, imagine a cool scene in my head, and the story drops yesterday’s flavors like a good habit and comes sniffing at my ankles, begging to eat that tasty piece of media I gots there in my hand.
None of my other stories are like this. None of them do this too me. The hell is this thing!?
I tell myself one cannot cram too many ideas, good or otherwise, into any single story no matter the scale. Same goes for characters. I tell myself that I want something far less than 100K words in total. Epic stories of longness are problematical for fan fic, as I’ve covered before. I tell myself I should split these into 3 or more different projects, or same them for an original novel.
But all that never seems to satisfy this beast. I really wish it would just tell me what the hell it wants already. Spit it out!
Anyways, still working on that 2010 preview, and a dozen other things.