Writing a novel is at best is to wrestle with a beast; a tiger that needs staring in the eye as soon as you sit down and focus on your idea.
It all started with an idea, something tasty, something juicy that made us sit down to create worlds, which somehow reflect our own a tiny bit, but are way better. And with better I mean everything is ‘more’. More love, more suffering, more sacrifice. Higher hurdles, stronger powers, stranger quirks, impossible impossibilities, way too much money, the poorest poverty, and three instead of one threat to destroy the world by the ugliest traits of even more ugly baddies. You get it, exaggeration is our creative master tool.
There are times when I am for weeks on a high like I am on a drug (sorry, I never took drugs so I can’t reference to one, but I assume extasy sounds about right). When riding the wave, when running sprints with light feet. My writing flows and ideas are harvested, and the next chapter is picked like ripe apples. The book grows, the plot thickens and I feel like a hero. I was born to write. I am meant to make sense. I am God!
And then, at about three-quarters through the book, when I begin to feel a bit vague on how it might end, when I am unclear yet who the real traitor is, who will hate whom at the end (leading to a sequel, of course), and unfamiliar yet with who will get together with whom or stay alone… Bugger. If I am unclear, so are my characters.
Suddenly they’re on vacation, while I sweat from running over mountains. They dangle their feet in an exotic stream that doesn’t flow back to me, and they eat fruits I have no names for, certainly can’t pick and therefore can’t taste. They fornicate in faraway places, having the time of their lives, those bastards, not coming to help while I am wrestling with the tiger. Basically, they’re giving me the finger. Me, their creator.
Wham! I hit the wall. Sure, I still pretend to run and write nonsense, after all, I am a writer, but really I crumble, stumble and only crawl. All beseeching fails to convince my characters to help me, to come back, to reveal their twists, their suffering, and triumphs. No, arrogant pricks they are, they withhold from me their learning curves, who the real hero is, and naturally, who ends up to be the sucker, the total loser.
Sure, I still pretend to run and write nonsense, after all, I am a writer, but really I crumble, stumble and then only crawl. All beseeching fails to convince my characters to help me, to come back, to reveal their twists, their suffering, and triumphs. No, arrogant pricks they are, they withhold from me their learning curves, who the real hero is, and naturally, who ends up to be the sucker, the total loser.
And what do I? I cry because I am sensing I might actually know who that loser could be, and I feel sorry for myself. I was a god. I had been running the run of my life, but now they don’t listen to me anymore, and I am crawling on my marathon in the desert.
And god damn! If I am not to prevail and finish this novel, which has turned into a nightmare, in which no one will be happy.
“Argh, if you don’t get back here…”
Oh, I will let them suffer my pain, my anguish will be theirs. I’ll make them taste the fruits of my frustration. You wait and see. I will threaten you with my world domination and how no one gets anything that they want. If they don’t kill that tiger for me, then so help me god, I will have to be the hero and no more apples in Hawaii for them.
So I say, but I don’t write. Because I have nothing to say.
Well, maybe tomorrow.
Maybe I watch a movie? There might be some inspiration in there. And anyway, a novel isn’t written in one day, or one year, eh? I am here for the long haul. I am a writer, I know what running a marathon feels like.
Do I actually have to run one? Of course not. My imagination is a god, remember? Uh, I got an idea for a new novel… how about super toads that can kill ferocious Hawaiian tigers?