Since I finished “Second Thoughts” (which has been submitted several places but, if it is rejected, I shall rewrite, as I’ve noticed several flaws in it in retrospect) I’ve suffered a horrible case of dreadful writer’s block, a problem of having many somewhat vague ideas and no clue how to fashion them into full stories.
I am also suffering from a distinct need of money, and I may try and sell a few of the articles written to the loyal readers of this very site to the Sci Phi Journal. So look out for that, if you’d care to.
Writer’s block is, of course, a lame excuse for a writer, and if I was trying in any serious way to be self-sufficient I would simply refuse to accept it, and write anyway. I am not at that point, and so am not panicking. That said, not creating fiction because you’re suffering writer’s block is simply bad practice, and I’m working hard to correct it.
Of all of the “long” works I’ve attempted (e.g., novels or full length plays), I have only completed one. It was a musical, and it was awful. I blush to think of it. But I am quite proud of it as well, because it proved that finishing a long work could be done, and even by the likes of me.
Several of my disparate ideas have been floating around for awhile now, and any attempts I’ve made with them individually have sputtered out. The idea came to me recently to dispense with working on them individually and to combine them into one novel.
The goal here is to come up with a basic plot, then outline it chapter by chapter. Once that is done I write a chapter a day, or failing that at least 1000 words, if it kills me.
The three main threads:
- A young man, a gifted artist (not sure of what yet – it could be music, painting, writing, or something else I haven’t considered) gets a vision of a woman, and he knows absolutely nothing about her except for one thing: At one time he was hopelessly, madly in love with her. Despite remembering nothing about her he sets out to find her, determined not to miss a once in a lifetime opportunity at true love. Inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
- A boy sees a vision of a girl he does not know committing suicide, the implication being that this is a premonition from the future. Despite knowing absolutely nothing about her he sets out to find her before the suicide takes place, considering himself honor-bound to stop her from going through with it. Originally inspired absurdly loosely by the game “To the Moon”.
- A girl’s father left several years ago on a trip to an unknown place. He is believed to have either run off from the family or died. The girl refuses to believe either of these things and intends to one day find her father. Inspired by “A Wrinkle in Time”.
I like all three plot threads. The underlying connection is the “hopeless hope” of the protagonists. None of them has any sane chance of finding the people they’re searching for, and indeed have strong reasons to believe that the people involved either do not exist or are dead. But all of them are driven by the importance of their tasks and the almost childlike belief that, somehow, someway, anything is possible if you try hard enough.
I have some ideas on how to connect the three characters, specifically the boy and the girl. The man is harder to place, though he fits well thematically and I like the general concept behind his story. So he’s staying.
What I lack is a setting. As of now I have no idea where these people are. I want them to start out on modern earth, but I’d like it to be “unearthly” earth, if that makes sense: some spot where things are still not quite caught up to the modern world. This is not urban fantasy, but it is meant to invoke a certain sense of wonder.
And I don’t know where they’re going and who the villains are, and why the three people they search for will be together, or how they will meet, or…
And yet, I sense that they belong together, and there is potential for a ripping good yarn here. We shall see. But I promise you this: Once it is plotted, it will be finished.