Another Meandering Blog Post by David Hunter >>
You picked up a book a few years ago, curled your lip in disgust, tossed the book down and barked 'I can write better than that crap'!
Sure; easier said than done.
My obsession with writing began in earnest in the summer of 2007, right after I flunked out of art school. The door to commercial art was forever closed to me (READ: Slammed Shut) when my professor told me that my drawing made him physically ill. He softened the blow by telling me that I was a great 'idea' man and that I should pursue writing instead. And so, with a trail of broken dreams behind me (Music, and now Art) I decided to go full-tilt boogie into another love of mine, writing.
Easier said than done ...
When I discovered Twitter and all the thousands of writers that lurk there, I found a like-minded tribe to call my own; we ate, breathed and slept writing; I was buoyed! I started a blog (This one) and started planning a book (Aren't we always planning a book?) and was generally stoked, I was going to fulfill a long-dormant dream.
Two years later, I still have no book.
There are lots of chapters of various manuscripts, of course. They lay strewn across my desk, or languish in color-coded files on my shelf. I have lots of ideas, lots of characters chirping in my head, some that won't go away no matter how I try. It's not that they're horrid and misbegotten, it's just ...
That first book is such a pain in the ass!
We all want to impress with that first manuscript; it's the one that demonstrates how much game you got, establishes the tone of your work. The trouble is, what road do you go down? Which genre? Do you need a genre at all? Decisions.
Another roadblock: I have lots of interests, maybe too many; Sci-Fi, Crime, Fantasy, Comedy, Action, Thriller - I have book ideas for all of them. I try mainstream, but get swamped by possible story-lines, or the story seems too mundane. I try action-adventure, but get swamped by minutia and detail; I 'ain't Tom Clancy. And the stuff I read is not necessarily the stuff I'd write. I love Stephen King, God love him, but I can't write in his genre. I love Edward Abbey, but I've never been to the desert. Then there's the voice in my head that says 'write a book that everyone can read! Sell the movie rights!', which is a concept that gives me the willies. I'd have to talk that one over with my soul.
I've toyed with the idea of creating my own niche; I love westerns, but not the Louis L'Amour type. I love detective stories, but not the Sam Spade type; too cheesy. I love fantasy, but wizards with long beards and and unpronounceable names make my face itch. I guess you could say that I have a particular way that I want to tell a story - and I haven't yet found the vehicle for it; that one story to hang my ideas on. It's out there somewhere, I know it.
The good news: lately I've re-focused and have started outlining a new novel that I hope to complete (Correction: WILL complete). I'm not going to qualify it; it's not a western, a fantasy, or Sci-Fi; it could possibly be mainstream, but I fear nothing I write could be termed 'mainstream'. Hopefully this new non-genre style will help me along the way. Maybe not. I think I just get bored too easily ... stupid internet and quick-edited movies! You've ruined my attention span!
So, what to write?