Well, with glee I can say I finally am back on track with the writing. For the moment I have set side the storyon which I’d been working for weeks, and am getting a crit from one person on the rough state of the story in the hope that it will help me with the editing to come, probably a week or so from now.
While I cannot speak for its quality, I can say something of a new development in the process, which is that this story was quite a struggle. I think this is the case for a number of reasons…
- A comment a while back on the Asimov’s boards, I think it was, got me thinking about thematic elements in my writing. Like the fact I have a lot of lone crusaders fighting against gigantic technocratic or poltical systems that resemble mulching machines as much as they do governments and corporations. (No wonder I got such a kick out of Buffy when I finally got around to watching it all the way through!) I decided to have a “hero” was (a) was not working alone, and (b) whose sense of heroic importance is critically assessed in some way.
- My viewpoint character is pretty much like nobody I know, including myself, except in vague bits of flashbacks. He’s something of a cross between a grown-up Greenpeace volunteer and Neil Strauss, though, if that tells you anything.
- I had to find a way to work out a conclusion that didn’t rely on deus ex machina, tied everything together, and punctured everything we read up until then, while ending on a positive, adventurous note that fit the character. My protagonist could — single-handedly or with his buddies’ help — not save the world (or the corner of it that concerns him, anyway) and has to end up feeling good about it on the final page.
- I challenged myself to make it a story that both men and women could feel good about, which can be a real challenge when the viewpoint character is modeled in part on Neil Strauss.
Now I’m on to another story that is partway finished and which I set aside when the inspiration for the above-described story hit me; this new one is in fact a radical rewriting of a story that ended up in my MA Thesis. It’s about Buddhists in the deep future, about regret and forgiveness, about ecological devastation and human arrogance, about the healing of broken-heartedness and reconciliation with the past and with one’s own infallibility. And about our understanding of biology in tghe most general sense which is redefined by a physics experiment, out on the edge of our solar system.
Nothing ambitious, or anything.
(This is one thing I’m trying to do: write ambitiously. More and more ambitiously. The sky’s no kind of limit for us people alive today. We gotta think bigger, farther out, wilder, and more wonderful.)
And yeah, more wonderful is the goal.