Friday, September 14, 2018

Microstory 930: Writing

As you can read in my bio, I started writing when I was thirteen years old. Before then, though, I had the sneaking suspicion that I was a good writer, and figured I would write science textbooks. In fifth grade, I half-assed a short paper about why I would never do drugs, and ended up winning a class-wide competition. Sidenote: I don’t do drugs, while it seems everyone else does, so maybe it worked. I had to read my paper aloud to an audience of other students and parents, and then they gave me a bunch of D.A.R.E swag. Then there was the fact that I rarely worked hard on my papers, and almost always received good grades for them. A couple years after I decided to switch to writing, I started thinking about my canon. I didn’t know to call it that back then, but up until that point, I had been focusing on fanfiction, in order to hone my craft. I wrote some Quantum Leap and Harry Potter stories, which have thankfully been lost by now, but it was time to try something original. I had recently returned from a trip to the Florida Keys with my Boy Scout troop, and my father. We spent a week on an island where I experienced no problems; no injuries, no fights, just fun. The beach smelled of rotten eggs, which is why I now like the smell of rotten eggs. That’s all it took to condition me. I struggled a lot with this first book, and it’s gone through a great deal of changes since then. It began as original, but I couldn’t help but find some way of connecting it to the Lord of the Rings universe. So I had to scrap it, and try again. It still wasn’t working out, so I scrapped the second draft too, and tried it a third time. I didn’t like that one either, even after ten years of this, so I buckled down, and started working on version number four, which is the one I have today. I’m looking for a literary agent to represent me, if you happen to know anyone.

While I’m glad I didn’t stick to my Lord of the Rings plan, it did make me realize that I would never be satisfied with individual stories that were completely separate from each other. I wanted to create a whole new world—or six worlds, as it were—and I wanted them to connect to each other in complicated, and sometimes subtle, ways. This too went through a number of changes, but at some point, I had a sturdy foundation, from which every story must originate. Later on, if I came up with a story that would not be internally consistent with the narrative, or even physical, laws set forth by other stories, I would have to create a new universe for it. But even that bothered me, so I invented a machine called The Crossover, which has the ability to travel between these universe, so in the end, I really do only have a single canon. Some stories are more connected than others, though. For instance, Magnate exists within a universe that allows none of the more—shall we say...unrealistic science fiction elements. People will start using it as a refuge from the craziness of time travel, ghosts, and whatnot. Anyway, I’m starting to talk about the planning of my stories, which is not what this post is about. This is about the writing itself, which I actually don’t love all that much. My fingers are in a permanent state of pain, so I can never type too long. I believe my strengths lie more with storytelling than with the narrative itself, or maybe I just feel that way because an artist’s work is never done. I would much rather come up with ideas, and micromanage every small detail of a story, then have someone else write it up for me. I believe they call people who do that producers. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like it at all. I still appreciate the feeling of typing out paragraphs, and seeing the finished product of my accomplishments. Hopefully the readers who are hopefully reading this in the future feel the same way.

No comments :

Post a Comment