Saturday, November 7, 2009

Writing For Realsies

I've started writing again (I mean, other than this blog). I think it's shaping up to be teen fiction. Maybe once I begin the second draft, it'll mature into adult fiction. But who knows. I have a habit of beginning a work of writing and then... quitting. Often it's because I get too overly focused on the details.

Like, making up a city that doesn't exist. I then have to imagine the entire infrastructure and then eventually I overwhelm myself. And if I place the setting somewhere I've been OR based on somewhere I've been, I start getting wrapped up in how close a resemblance a fictional place is to the real thing.

It's too much. I'm one of those writers who needs to write what they know when it comes to cities. So I'm basing this book on my hometown. Everything takes place there. I know it inside and out. And without that major roadblock, I'm able to be more creative with my plot.

When I was six I wrote my first "book" and illustrated it. It was about six pages long about a Halloween costume. It took me a few days and I was jazzed with it. I probably threw it out after about a month or so.

When I was in grade five or six or something I wrote my first comic book. It was about five friends and how their lives grew apart. It was a big undertaking and looking back it was total shit, but still. I finished it.

When I was 16, I drew up this series of anime-inspired magic girls and I think the best word I could use for it now was storyboards. Each large piece of paper was one panel and included all the dialogue. I did five volumes, plus a bonus epilogue. I finished that too and it was the last thing I've ever completed that had any amount of writing attached to it.

Short stories I've done, but that's the thing with a short story: it's short. In the amount of time it takes to write a first draft of a novel, you could be polishing your short story to a high sheen.

I was on the subway thinking about my life and my choices and what talents I have, such as they are, that are largely amounting to nothing due entirely to laziness on my part. And a second later I came up with an idea for a novel. I practically wrote the thing in my head as I walked home and spent the rest of the night at my computer.

If only every night were as inspiring and motivating. I never seem to get a second wind. I miss being a kid, or even a teenager, when I write. I just did it because it was fun. I never got bogged down by, I don't know, "facts" or "life". Creativity is a gift, and a part of me is worried that if I don't use it now, I'll lose it.

I really want to finish this story. I really do. Let's see how this goes.

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