Sunday, December 2, 2007

Finishing nanowrimo

Because I heart typewriter I am to announce that I have completed my second novel, or rather that I have completed my second nano novel. Apparently that doesn't really count, even if it is novelish in form and content.

Now, I should know better then to discuss my writing with my friends, family, and random people on the bus, but I don't. I'm just not the sort of person who can write a novel in a month and then keep quiet about it. I don't mean to brag, it is just the thing on my mind...like when some dull bloke wins some sports with the hitting and the yelling and the green fake grass and you are just so excited that you tell me, even though I hate sports. Now it shouldn't be like that, because (1) I have never actually MET someone who hates novels and (2) if YOU won some dull sports thingy I would be interested; I would be happy for you, and I would make you explain exactly how awesome you were, because no matter if I like people watching sports or not and accomplishment is exactly that and should be appreciated.

But no. My sister seems to think that I didn't actually have a plot, which might be true no more then it is true for many stories...and I'm pretty sure that that thing I was writing about was a plot anyway, just not the normal sort of fantasy plot. I mean, of course it is going to be difficult when all I can think of is hero-quest and all I can write is the opposite. Seriously, it has happened twice now: both my novel began conceptually as heroic journeys, which I then proceeded to pick apart until they made some kind of sense, a kind of sense that may or may not destroy their forward motion.

More interesting is the fact that apparently what I am doing cannot possibly be art because I enjoyed doing it. Now, it is quite true that love writing but even I am not quite so crazy as to write a novel in one month and enjoy every second of it. I HAVE to love this, I don't really have a choice in the matter. If I didn't I would be miserable, but still writing. For me this is a prolonged obsessive streak, twice I've seen it at the beginning of October and I haven't had a choice in the matter after that. On the other hand there is truth in the matter, a weird sort of truth that is difficult for me to deal with because it is linked to all sorts of conclusions I have come to to protect myself from my writing and my writing from ever being published. I am not an artist when I write. There are two halves to this, the first being that I am forbidden until I am 30, because I believe strongly that though much of what is written isn't published much of what is published is trash. I refuse to allow that sort of thing into the world, I refuse to let myself take pride in something that is not worthy of pride. The other half is that I want to write things that people will enjoy. Like many fantasy novelists I take after Tolkien, though my approach may be a little different then most. He said that society traps people, and it is our job as fantasy writers to help as many people escape as possible. I don't want to write some brilliant timeless epic full of symbols that will last for centuries, which scholars will puzzle over and concoct absurd meanings for. I hate aspirations to brilliancy, I cannot imagine someone sitting down and thinking 'oh gosh am I gonna be meaningful today', and if they do I cannot imagine how they can produce something worth looking at, but neither do I want to write some trash novel that people will forget five minutes after its gone. This leaves me in the inconvenient situation where I cannot aspire to brilliancy without betraying myself but neither can I be less then brilliant in order to please my sense of what is right and good. I am sure, however, that there are people who manage this. I've seen them, and I hope they don't mind me taking them as my role-models, but again it seems as if I am reaching too high, being too presumptuous. I hope I'll have this figured out in eleven years.

The strangest response was the person who suggested I print it and hide it in a drawer, to be discovered for future generations. That just scared me. I think I might do a bit of editing instead.

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