Thursday, November 1, 2007

Day 1 - Amazing things happened today

Earlier in the day, I was certain that I wasn't going to make my daily word count of 2272 words. Even after the "LifeBurp" was over, I found all sorts of things to distract me. Suddenly, my desk, which is cluttered far more often than not, was bugging the daylights out of me. I had to clean it. I organized, even dusted! Found a picture of my 8 yr old nephew, Mark, from when he was 18 mths old. The desk is three years old, so I know it hasn't been there for 6.5 years, but I had to ask myself - what are you thinking when you look at that desk? Is the clutter even registering?

I don't think that it is.

I sat looking at a blank Microsoft Word screen for a LONG time. I finally decided to go back and look at some old notes that I made for the series. The idea, of course, is to come into this with a blank slate, and all new writing, but there's no sense in reinventing the wheel if I've already pestered myself with most of the major "what if" questions in this "fantasy" world.

Surprisingly, the biggest "what if" question was answered today, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's answered FOR GOOD. My world needs to be seen by an outsider, for reasons that fall under RAFO (read and find out), but some of my themes (Health and Illness, specifically) are reminiscent of Stephen R. Donaldson's work with The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and while I will make my work my own, I didn't want to have a sick guy coming in from the "real" world, our Earth, because that's exactly what Donaldson did, as Thomas Covenant is a leper.

As hard as I tried to get around it, I kept coming back to the absolute necessity that the person be an outsider. I imagine it was like Donaldson (yeah, laugh - I'm really not comparing myself with a published author who has sold millions of copies of his books worldwide) when he had to decide on using a white gold ring, when Tolkien also used a ring. Donaldson decided, correctly, that he needed the ring more than Tolkien did, and went with it.

But I need a sick guy too!

My solution is disgustingly simple. The main character, who I've never had an absolute fix on until today, will come from a different continent in a society fashioned after late Medieval England. Like, uh, duh? It took me 27 years to figure that out, or get comfortable with that idea? Forced to come up with a solution, as I was today, I made it, wrote it, and while the draft is crap (all first drafts are, ask Hemingway), I was forced to make up my mind, and when I made it up, all kinds of things started falling into place. I even figured out how to write fantasy. Or, rather, how to approach the writing of a fantasy novel. Previous attempts have failed because they haven't been real. Today I found a way to bring the strengths I have writing "real" fiction to fantasy.

All this isn't to say that I'm going to be a published author one year from now...I certainly haven't achieved perfection. Rather, I've achieved satisfaction. I will yearn for perfection, and hope to improve as I go.

Word count: 2,669

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