So many ideas bouncing around in my head this morning, and I’m ready to pounce on them all. Coming out of an illness is apparently amazing for one’s creative juices – the combination of clearing out the brain fog and having the energy to follow through on these ideas is, quite simply, amazing. In retrospect, it’s quite incredible that I managed any creative output during the years where I was so deeply wrapped up in my problems, including irregular drugs and drinking. I once had a romantic view of creation, that alcohol or drugs helped to grease the wheels of creativity, but I see now that they can be quite the hindrance. This may come up later and in more detail, but for now, it’s simply enough to recognize what came before.
Recorded the introduction to the Shaggin The Muse podcast last night; the idea is to record one or two segments a day during the week and piece it together during the weekend, but it will be, as always, a work in progress. Closing oneself off to the possibility of evolution is the surest way to stop growing.
I’m also seeing great possibility in the next few twists and turns in Torat (may well end up changing that name). About to get into “Act 2”, which means that things are starting to pick up again. I’m introducing a key character, Grabbe, who has existed in every version of this novel but whose role has changed quite a bit. In the original version, Grabbe was a self-centered nihilist, a half-human half-angel whose only goal was to find his father and kill him so he could be free (this was part of a deal cut between him and the heavens). The new version of Grabbe retains the ultimate goal of finding his father, but the execution of that goal as well as his tie to the other characters, is very different. He’s no longer such a self-focused nihilist, opting instead for a sort of removed humanism that will help the main character, Matty, to find her own humanity and break free from what seems like an inevitable path. He’s not without his flaws – he’s something of a bastard at times and shoot-first-ask-questions-later when it comes to those he distrusts, but he’s fiercely loyal and protective as well, something that was dormant in his previous incarnation.
Very exciting to consider the possibilities of how this new version will interact with the four existing main characters. One of the most immediate consequences is to out the antagonist from her not-so-hidden place in the protagonist’s life. So he’s a very important character, and will, incidentally, one day have his own novel as well if all goes well.
Learned quite a bit last night about the “visual themes” of stories and novels. It put into words what I love about filmmakers like David Lynch and what I’ve been trying to do with my novels – as well as what I’ve been failing to do. That’s the bad news – the good news is that this article shared quite a bit on how to fix that particular failing, and I’m going to try it very soon. Look for a more specific write-up on it in the near future, but I want to spend some time with it so as to have some original thoughts, rather than simply regurgitating the author’s point of view; the author in question here is the excellent Alexandra Sokoloff. Rest assured that with some experience there will be more to say.
The link for today is to the Ink-Stained Scribe by L. Scribe Harris, a fantasy author/artist/singer/wearer of many hats. She has a lot to say about traditional publishing, her own pursuits, and where things are headed. I’ve been reading her regularly for a little while now, and I encourage you to check her blog out!