So I’ve been giving more thought to NaNoWriMo and what form of participation, if any, I will have in it. And I realized something that really bothers me. Part of the reason my participation in the original fic community nanowhinging has dropped off is that “I’m just not that into” the story I’ve been working on. It’s more like I’ve been trying to pull something together so I can say, “hey, I’m working on a novel” but not really having much enthusiasm for the actual novel in question.
This is disturbing to me on a number of levels, but the foremost of them is that fiction writing is my passion, and the novel is my medium. And starting about 14 years ago, I could always say, “I’m working on a novel.” Even if the damned thing was just a play-thing tucked away on my hard drive destined to never see the light of day, I was working on one. Then a few years ago, my biggest project, the novel I’d worked on the longest, sort of died still-born in a very well-developed fifth draft simply because I’d outgrown the story and its themes. It had come from who I was in my 20’s and I wasn’t in my 20’s anymore. I set it aside, intending to go back and polish it, then got all caught up in a new game–fan fic.
Nothing against fan fic, but it’s a very different challenge than original fiction. Fan fic lets you play because a lot of the story elements/character development are already provided for you and you can concentrate on other things–like exploring interesting themes, or learning the art form of the screenplay/directing. And of course having a built-in audience base and being read and getting good feedback is total crack. But you can’t publish fan fic, and unless it’s totally OOC/fic-universe-rule-breaking, you’ve skipped over the challenge and fun and work of world-building and character-building.
So what am I saying? I’ve considered turning NaNoWriMo into a fan fic marathon. Two or three episodes of TD in one month! Sounds like fun, but it also sounds very avoidant.
I’ve considered doing 30 story drabbles (one a day) on my nanowhinging story, but there’s the rub…I honestly don’t have that novel inside me. I’m not sure I have a novel inside me at *all* right now in my life, and that’s the most disturbing bit of all. Nancy without a novel inside of her.
I’ve considered doing 30 unrelated original fic shorts a day like I did in April, but most of those were really teh suck. Just me being lost and meandering and poking around for a story inside me that’s not there.
I’ve considered trying my hand at short story writing, because hey! then you can actually let people in RL read something self-contained that you wrote and thereby prove to them you actually really *are* a writer. The mere idea of short stories, though, makes me feel utterly claustrophobic.
So what to do, then? This isn’t writer’s block. Or not what most people think of as writer’s block. Since I got back from my vacation, I’ve belted out two rather complex fan fic episodes and have ideas for upcoming ones. Words on page=not a problem.
The problem, I suppose, is not knowing what I want to say anymore. Writing a novel–writing any form of fiction–is always a process of having something you want to say and express, and at the moment in my life, I’m in a very *weird* place. It’s sort of dark, but not in a negative way, necessarily, more in a “fuck it all, I’m going to take a stroll into the dark hollow of the woods just to see what’s there and who cares if it’s evil/dangerous/kinky/skanky/bad for me/messed up because I’m just feeling *that* nihilistic.” Or maybe not nihilistic. Maybe bored. Or fed up. Or…
Huh. I just realized that’s what I’ve been doing with Connor over on TD.
When I say that that (the above) is “not negative”, I mean I am inherently not a negative person and find my current state of mind sort of intriguing. Like, “I should *do* something with this” intriguing. Something fictional, of course.