Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Chasing Dreams

So, as I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I always kind of wanted to be an author, and that's one of the few ambitions I remember from my childhood that I retain today. So it is kind of a dream of mine. Additionally, plotting stories could be nicely and poetically described as 'chasing dreams'. You chase after the dreams, trying to capture them within the pages of your work... hmm. That's good. I might use that.

When I have written things, I've been told they're good. In fact, frequently the people who've read my stuff have a much higher opinion of it than I do. Like one time a friend of mine said "You obviously put a lot of effort into this one, and it shows." I didn't like to mention that actually I pretty much just wrote it off the top of my head. And then there are times when I'm trying to portray something, and maybe I don't want to take too long over it, and so I think I've done a passable job, but then other people are like "Wow that was so interestingly done, it really played with your mind, you write madness so well," etc, and I'm all like, "Seriously? Huh."
I suppose part of this may be that I'm on the inside and can see the workings of my own mind as I'm doing the writing. So I know exactly what's going on and can entirely follow my own thought processes as I try to figure out how to portray it. Whereas the readers come in without that prior knowledge and just get the finished effect. So maybe that explains it. On the other hand, it's also possible that I just hold my self to a rather high standard, and if I ever write anything with which I am absolutely satisfied it will make my readers' brains explode from all the awesome. Or at least they'll be incoherent for a while and then load me down with praise.

It must be said, I may well have difficulty writing novel-length stuff. When I've written things in the past, they've tended to be either short or at least partly adaptations of existing works rather than wholly original, or rather whimsical in nature. Also, one of the main places I get to flex my writing muscles is with WW narrations, in which case of course the progress of the game determines what I have to write - while the details are mine, the significant events are determined for me. While I can come up with interesting ideas, I sometimes balk at the required level of thought to get from the basic framework of a story to the story itself. Once I know what I'm writing the words can feel like they're just flying out through my fingers, but first I have to get to that point.


Sorry for that little outburst.
So there's the thing. I want to write something long, original, and serious. I mean, not serious like nothing humorous can happen at any point in this story because it is OMG SRS BSNS, but without passing over problems and inconsistencies with whimsy, or lampshading them, not falling back on quoting and referencing my favourite TV shows, not breaking the fourth wall, and in all probability, not using phrases like "OMG SRS BSNS."
Actually, it occurred to me that one thing I started almost two years ago now could possibly be turned into a novel. It started out as an adaptation, but the thing is my plans for it turned it into effectively an adaptation of at least four different things, all with my own twists on the original stories, all mixed together. So if I developed it further I might be able to just write out the direct quotations of the original source material (And of other things which I just happen to like) and pass it off as original. Well, it kind of would be original. The amount of things I'm drawing on, I think I could justify referring to them as inspirations rather than actually things I was adapting.

But still, I want to do something that's all my own. I'm not going to deny inspiration, of course, everyone is influenced by things they've read except the illiterate, but the fact remains that that story I mentioned did really start out as an adaptation and actually for some of the earlier bits that couldn't be completely disguised, though it could be justified. Equally the other thing I've been working on for about half a year less is sort of my own work (Interestingly, both this and the other were originally conceived as birthday presents for people but I never even got close to finishing them. Oops), but it's me specifically trying to imitate existing works, only with a bit of a twist. But for purely original stuff? I have had some ideas over the years, but I don't know how many of them would actually work as well as I originally thought they would when I came up with them, and none of them are particularly fleshed out.
Such are my tribulations, but I'm willing to try and overcome them. I may have issues with the amount of effort I'll have to put into thinking through plot and stuff, but I have to get the hang of not being lazy sometime, and I may as well do it for something I really want to do.

Anyway, this whole post is really just a preamble to its closing statement, which is that I intend to attempt to sort of effectively do NaNoWriMo in the wrong month, specifically this month. I won't be adhering to all the rules - I'll be spreading my hopefully 50000 words across multiple things I'm wanting to work on, most of which I have already started writing, but I do want to try and do the 50000 words. I'm hoping that by dint of having announced it over the internet to people, I will feel myself a bit more obliged to actually do it, unlike back in November when I thought maybe I could, it might be a good idea, but then never got round to doing anything.

So starting after I get up later today, I intend to try and write things. I'll let you all know how that works out for me.


  1. Good luck! I recommend Write or Die if you ever need a bit of extra pressure to hit your wordcount, though I don't know how strict you are going to be with it. In some ways the stricter the better - more likely to actually feel the need to complete it that way I think.

    Oh, and if you feel like trying out a different word processing program that gives you a bit more flexibility with where you put things and suchlike, I found the Scrivener free beta very useful. It also doesn't keep squiggling you for 'incorrect grammar' the way Word does when you write anything that doesn't conform to the strict rules of sentenceness.

    Woot writing!

  2. Writing is fun. I found nano really useful to get down a story that had been plotterating in my head for about 3 years... maybe now when it gets to winter I won't be plagued by the main characters =DDD
    Without the pressure of nano (and my horribly competitive nature through that) I probably wouldn't have finished it at all... I probably wouldn't have been able to get past the first chapter...

    But go! Write! Do things!