I don’t know how to blog and work on a novel at the same time.
The times that my blog has been (relatively) more active have been the times that I don’t have a focus for my writing. The crazy days where I write a few lines in half a dozen different stories then decide to post something about superheroes or my nerdy fascination with words.
I love those days.
But I haven’t had many of those days recently.
Recently I’ve been concentrating on a story I’ve been trying to tell for almost nine years. This would be THE novel I’ve referred to above, and in earlier posts. A novel I’ve been working on for so long I feel like I should actually have an answer for the question, “what is your book about?”
I hate that question.
Probably because summarizing my relationship with characters I’ve known longer than most of my closest friends is like trying to explain how I managed to become best friends with people who existed in different hemispheres of college life.
I guess it traces back to the odd balance of absolute self-assurance and crippling self-doubt that many authors face. Unfortunately, my self-doubt usually rears its head when people show an interest in my writing, or insist that I will one day see my name on the shelves of libraries and book stores. Or at moments like this, when I’m trying to think of something people will want to read on a blog.
I’m terrified of being boring, which results in dull writing. But then again, I’m terrified of sounding pompous and over confident, which results in no writing at all most days. I don’t know how people manage to blog full time, and seem to know what they’re talking about. I have a plethora of random facts and favorite historical events/figures at my disposal, but no idea whether other people would find them as interesting or compelling as I do. I know I have weird taste sometimes. I love ancient mythologies, Victorian literature, and superhero movies. I could care less for sports, but have definitely teared up at a good sports movie, and know a surprising amount of sports trivia. I have a profound hatred of Lady Helen Mar that goes back to reading Scottish Chiefs in high school (she’s going down if I ever get my hands on a time machine, that’s all I’m saying), and feel personally betrayed by Benedict Arnold. I get angry at Disney’s Pocahontas, but that doesn’t keep me from knowing all the words to “Colors of the Wind”. I’m sure you get the idea. I’m strange, and often don’t make any sense.
And I have a hard time not getting overly attached to fictional characters. It’s bad enough when I’m not in control of their fates. At least then I have someone else to be angry at when my favorites get hurt or die. But as a writer, I am the one responsible for all the pain. And at this point, there isn’t anyone else who really understands that specific pain. My sister knows some of it; she has specified which characters CANNOT come to harm if I wish to keep her friendship. Thankfully, they are characters I’m not planning on killing. Some of the lucky few who come through unscathed.
And now I’m finally fleshing out the backstory for my main villain, after concentrating on her evilness for close to a decade. As my luck would have it, she’s human, with human frailties and emotions. I know this makes her more believable, therefore making the whole book better, but it also means I’ll be spending some time viewing everything backwards. Black becomes white when you understand what drives a villain who has a greater goal than chaos and destruction.
I’m not sure where I was going with this. Just felt the need to get real for a minute. I apologize for the late night rambling. Hopefully my next post will have more weight and direction to it.