Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A dearth of creativity

If perchance you follow my tweets on yonder Twitter, you may have noticed this past weekened an almost parenthetical announcement that my recent novel-attempt failed. Once again, movements in my celestial soul have barred me from the task I desire to complete. Namely: boredom, and a broken plot. Also: too... thriller.

After said novel was, not exactly trashed, but at least canned, and after I had played as much Medieval: Total War as my constitution would allow, I started up another... thing... that similarly went nowhere. It was all great fun, but it had no meat, and no gristle, and possibly no bones either; and I'm a vegan, to begin with. You can imagine the difficulties.

Possibilities abound.
Something I've been considering lately, and more and more as lately turns to later, is the way in which I choose to proceed with my writing. The way I would describe the way in which I conceive to write is An Enormous and Fantastical Machine. It has cogs, gears, and other commitments (like walking the dogs); but in the long run those cogs and gears are meant to grind and squeal and eventually squeeze something out down the long avenue of the assembly line.

I've thought of writing this way for a while, and I'm now quite certain that it is awful; abysmal, even. I've taken some inspiration from Rahul Kanakia, who - from what I can gather, anyway - pretty much just writes, and does his thing, and sometimes comes out with something cool. And if you've read any of Rahul's work, the cool stuff is pretty cool.

But as for me: Somehow, I've allowed it to be bred into me that abandoning work, being in possession of fragments, or working on half-finished, half-conceived work is a cardinal crime of the imagination. It didn't work the first time, I seem to think, so why should it work now? Thus, I am always starting new projects and ditching old ones, and my "TO DO" folder - that nebulous interzone where projects go to die - is filling up.

But that's enough of that. I opened up a draft of my old alien-colonization-human-retaliation (read: unconscious Battlefield Earth-worship [seriously, it was unconscious, I read Battlefield Earth when I was, like, eleven) novel this morning and realized it's 110,000 words long. I had no idea, and how I had no idea, I have no idea. But, after doing an edit yesterday with some good old fashioned "track changes," I think I'm in some sort of fey mood: an editing mood. Yes, a creature of Faerie, that, the editor. But as none of my new projects seem to stick - and as I have, oh, fifty or sixty half-stories and near-stories waiting for Satisfaction - I'm returning to the "TO DO" folder, and I'm just dumping it all - all of it - in the "WIP" folder.

How's that for that.

-bn

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you've got your work cut out for you. Good luck, Ben.

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