Thursday, January 09, 2014

switched over to working on my novel; the novel had maybe 35 pages, single-spaced, and is now maybe 40. but every time i get into it i lose momentum, as if i have a lot to say but no organized plan, no reason to keep writing it. that's my first problem. i'm not trying to impress the reader, or say anything in particular, i'm just trying to write a whodunit that moves right along, keeps people reading, and eventually gives you a little kick, or a message, or something. but i don't quite have the message. i don't quite have the reason i wrote it in the first place.

so i develop these characters, but they're mostly based on myself, or people i know, and it's pretty much romanticized views of people i know, especially myself. people are pretty boring, if you get down into the nitty-gritty of their day-to-day life. and that brings up another point: within a few years, virtually every crime will be easily solvable, by anyone who has any access at all to dna technology. so technically, "whodunits" will be obsolete. this gives me even less motivation to write.

unless, and this is the direction i'm going, you write purely to entertain. there is something to be said for the "here's a sports car, get in & i'll shoot around with you" philosophy of writing, which is that if you are giving someone a tour of your imagination, you might as well dress it up a little. now this is kind of hard with your average, blah blah blah whodunit, but i realize, if i'm going to survive in this cutthroat market, i've got to make it stand out. in my novel, i've got these two guys, actually two competing sides of myself, and they are in illinois, which is ok, and they have these murders, or in some cases attempted murders, but they have absolutely no motivation to do anything about them. does anyone? do they pay people to do this kind of stuff anymore? and if they do, what happens, you throw a dna kit at them and say, measure it and get back to me with the results?

nah, i have to build in a little more. i haven't quite figure out how, or what, but it has to be something. kurt vonnegut says, you have to give people a reason to want to turn the page. you have to have a main character, and he has to want something, even if it's only to use a bathroom, so the reader will turn page after page to see if he gets it. then, of course, you build in the murders, and the plot, and all that other junk, while they're trying to figure out if he ever finds a bathroom.

my problem is, i've become a little complacent. i no longer wantanything, and if i did, I'm not sure i could conjure up the feeling of wanting anything. my main character now wants only to watch sports games. he wants to use sports to get away from all the haunting situations in life where you can't bear to participate because people are so evil. but sports are evil too, he soon finds out, there's no getting away from it. people are evil. you can invent a bad guy, then you have an evil bad guy, he'll be evil. does that give people a reason to turn the page? i'm not sure. there's plenty of evil around; i'm kind of bored with it. nothing i can make up, seems to ge evil enough. lascivious desire? that's evil, but it's everywhere. ho-hum. i forgave myself years ago, i'll give maybe five minutes before i forgive my main character. or anyone else. and if you invent, or develop, the ogre of the modern-day enemy, she/he'd have to be pretty bad. and even then i'd get bored. it just doesn't pinch me anymore.

maybe i should stick with music.


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