For some reason a draft of my post this week was published and the original was gobbled up by some hungry net troll as it tried to traverse its router. Or, more likely, it was me, in a hurry and being all clicky on stuff I shouldn’t click. Who knows? Here’s take two.
The manuscript for my first official novel is in the electronic ether, hopefully getting the attention of more than a few curious agents and editors. Now, the waiting game begins.
I’m coming off a pretty odd week for writing. Extremely productive start to the week but today, the words were not flowing. But, so far I’ve got a start on a new book, and a new story I want to write. After about 1000 words though, I wasn’t really feeling it.
I’m working on several monster stories for a collection I’d like to use to test the self-publishing waters. They’re all from the big bad guy’s point of view and they’re all comedies. I’ve got a hapless zombie that manages to end a zombie apocalypse, an ancient vampire struggling to fit in with modern cable TV fueled expectations, and a couple of dragons that suffer through an infestation of two-legged pests.
The first two are on the absurd side of funny, the last, more of a quiet, almost tragic sort of funny. The one I was having trouble with today is about Bigfoot. He gets hauled to jail on a public indecency charge and social satire ensues. However, I wasn’t quite in the right frame of mind and it was coming off as more serious than funny.
Now, I’m wondering how often other writers run into similar issues? I’m guessing pretty frequently, but there may be some consummate professionals out there that can power through any kind of scene regardless their own personal mood. (Any tips would be appreciated!)
In fact, not only mood but state of mind seems to be important to art. For example, schizophrenia and art often go hand in hand as someone mentioned at our latest Crit Group After Party.
There’s a great story in Hitchhiker’s Guide where they talk about the early days of time travel. Long before it was invented, there was a poet whose works were of unsurpassed quality. In those reckless days after time travel came along, a major manufacturer of white out decided to employ the new technology for some corporate sponsorship. They introduced this poet to their product and it so changed his fate that he married the girl he was supposed to write all of his unspeakably amazing, unrequited love poetry about.
The correction liquid company fixed this by setting him up with a copy of his book (from the future) so that he could re-write all these wonderful poems that never got written – using the correction liquid, of course.
The crux is that his poetry was entirely contingent on this girl breaking his heart.
All this leads to a lot of interesting questions.
So, when we write with our soul, when we write “naked” as my friend Ben apparently likes to do (don’t ask for proof of this, I believe he owns a net cam) is that state of mind necessary to produce our best work? Can we fake it when we need to? And for a bigger, broader societal question, what have mind regulating pharmaceuticals done to art as we know it?