The last few months inside of my creative space have been a whirlwind of research into schizophrenia intense enough to briefly give my the symptoms of schizophrenia, conceptualization of the properties of a Qlippothic sub-verse, attempts to sculpt the clay of wishes and emotions and background details into the flesh of actual humans.
I’m trying to write a novel. Nothing new, and in fact I think society has a quota that at least 20% of a nations citizens have to be attempting to write a novel at any given time in order to officially count as Civilized. Fortunately, the 20%–or 64,220,727 of us in the case of the US–don’t all have to be writing the same novel. Separate endeavors are fine.
This novel I’m working on is pretty ambitious. More so than I thought when I started with a neat idea and boring characters while walking through the cold one day. I quickly came up with much better characters, who I have largely abandoned, and a less neat idea that is ultimately more interesting.
I never know which of the ideas my brain spits up from the solution of creative digestive fluids that pools in my unconscious is going to stick. This one did, and I was far, far too deep before I realized the staggering amount of research I was going to need to do in order to get the characters and the world even close to correct. It was interesting research. Stuff I was already fascinated by, so I figured even if I didn’t right the novel I would learn a lot.
Several months later, I have, indeed, learned a lot. I could keep learning forever and not be ready, because that’s how these things work. That being said, I realized at some point that I was ready. Ready to write a messy first draft, anyway. I wouldn’t know for sure what additional research I’d need to do until I ran into it, and the attempt to amalgamate every real-world esoteric and mystical system ever probably wasn’t strictly necessary to start writing.
So I started writing. Or at least, I tried to, only to discover that I didn’t remember how to write. Oh, I remembered how to make the little squiggles. I could even make them manually, without using the plastic clackers hooked up to my electronic porn machine.
What I forgot how to do was tell stories. I mean, I forgot how to take characters and concepts and a plot outline–all of which I had!–and flesh that out into a the “words on a page” thing that people seem to find oh-so-essentially to novels these days.
I used to be able to do it. I also didn’t used to be able to do it. I know plenty of writers who never struggled with this most basic element of writing, but I’ve never been one of them. Taking any given idea and weaving it into a story is something I only got skilled at here, on this blog, by doing it a lot.
So here I am. I’m going to doing it a lot. Again. With a new challenge!
This one is as follows: I’m going to write three stories a week, every week, for seven weeks. Three stories seems doable. And seven…well, I have a theme here. The plan–the oath!–is to post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, starting this upcoming Monday. Why Monday? Because that’s several days from now.
The challenge is called “Seven and Three Tales to Tell,” and if the math doesn’t work, if the poetry is a little off, if it sounds more pretentious than well-crafted…well, I said I was out of practice. Hopefully by the end, I’ll have a better name.