HOW I LEARNED TO HATE WRITING
So, as some of you may have noticed, I haven't written anything here in ages. No characters. No fics. No matches. Just snarky message board posts and the occassional private message rant. That's it.
Well, I suppose now I have this blog, but you know what I mean. Stop being a smart-ass.
So the big question I suppose is: "why"? Why after years of relatively consistent production have I buggered off into semi-retirement? Have I lost my edge? Am I totally out of ideas? Have all the creative juices finally been squeezed from me like so much raw mango in a Jack Lalanne Power Juicer? Is this the smoothie of my discontent?
Well, no. Actually, yes. SORT OF. See the thing is, I've been writing the whole time. More accurately, I've been trying to write.
Writing used to be easy for me. I've always got an idea kicking around, so after mulling it about for a bit I'd sit down, type away for 30 minutes and BAM. Hall of Fame. Adoration of the masses. Champagne in the VIP Room. Fic writing was the same - come up with an idea, typey typey typey and out it came. Now, I seldom finished things I started, but my output was fairly prodigious. ASYLUM was only 3/4 done, but it was over 40,000 words when I finally stopped bothering. The point was, writing was easy.
Easy, that is, until I made a fatal mistake. I learned how to write properly.
As many of you know, I took a comic book workshop which completely opened my eyes to how stories should be told. After seeing how it was supposed to be done, every piece of writing I had ever done up to that moment looked like an amateurish hack job. It was enlightening and horrifying all at the same time. What a complete mess ASYLUM was. Inspired in its concept, embarassing in its execution. If I didn't love so much about it, I would have immediately deleted the file and denied it's existance entirely.
Still, I had other ideas kicking around my head and now that I had the tools, making a brilliant story would be a piece of cake right? I can use this to make the best damned fic anyone at the FPL had ever seen! Wooo! I will be revered as a GOD!
So, I started to work on my long-promised "S7 continuity" story. As per my newfound training, I didn't just sit down and write it off the top of my head - I planned. I had seven characters originally, but it became far too cumbersome once I started mapping it out. Looking at the relationships between them, Silent Samurai was clearly the most redundant and quickly got the axe. My unnamed female character became Kittiwake and got an interesting backstory. I mapped out character progressions and relationships. I switched the setting from Illinois to California. Things were humming.
Then I got in a rut. The overall story arc had some big plot holes I couldn't quite fill. I couldn't decide on exactly how to work the ending. I wasn't sure who the bad guys would be. I couldn't fit everything I wanted to tell into a continuous story without it being a 100-issue series. As the plot changed, the characters motivations for moving it forward became lost. Everything was going to hell. My plan was dying.
Of course, I did what any sensible writer would do. I gave up and started working on my Judas story. You don't know about that one yet, but it's brilliant. Well, it could be - except that I ran into the exact same problems. The planning was killing me, but I couldn't even start writing until I had the planning done. I was stuck again.
So that's where I have been. Unable to write because I keep tumbling down the mountain of planning I'm putting into these stories. I can't just write anymore. It's no longer good enough. I know it's going to suck unless I do it right, but doing it right is HARD... and it takes FOREVER... and I'm really really LAZY.
I've made a little more progress lately on S7 (except obviously the name, considering there aren't even seven members anymore and STILL can't think of a decent name). I've crossed some major hurdles in the last week and have been on a roll again. But I hate it, in some ways. I just want to skip to the writing. Even though I know I'll be thankful for it, I've grown to resent the planning. It's there kicking me in the nuts every day and I have to just stand there and line up for more.
Anyhow, hopefully I'll have something to show you all someday.