Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Writing, Superman, and wanderings.
Today Robin Williams died a city is rioting over the questionable death of black youth at the hands of a police officer, someone somewhere is falling in love and I've decicded while taking a shower that it is high time I start writing in my blog again. Much like Amilie on that fateful day temporarily blackened by the death of Lady Di but with less drama, I've decided to change my life. Here it goes.
The idea is to dedicate an hour of my time before I go to sleep to writing at least on the days where I am not doing anything like a game night. I don't know if I will publish every night. Maybe I'll select the “best of the week” and publish it all over the weekend. Maybe I'll publish everything. Publishing isn't the important part. The writing is.
In all honesty this is being caused by a couple of things. The desire to run a roleplaying game, the excitement of being able to play in one, the proximity to NaNoWriMo, and some other stuff that is harder to put a specific name on. I've been thinking a lot about NaNo, what I want to write about and stuff like that. The current front runner is a sequal to what I wrote last year which I never published but whatever. It is set in the Eclipse Phase universe and it is actually my second favorite thing I've ever written. It also feels a bit like cheating. I like to try to do something different every year, to exparament. NaNo is by and large a judgement free excersice for me so I feel like if I am not trying something new and different I am wasting the opportunity. My first novel blended aspects of magical realism, Twin Peaks, and melocholic reflection and it turned out great. It remains my favorite thing I've written. The year after I wrote about a support group of people who tried to end the world at the turning of the milenium, failed, and now are adrift in a world that is not supposed to still be here. This book still has potential and I want to redo it. As is it didn't turn out all that great. The lone female character feels tacked on, the ending was forced, and some other things. It was my first time writing using a large group of people and it turned out strangely. I'd also like to talk about how dour and grey America became after 9/11. It isn't so much that we've gone mad. We are America we've always been a little bit crazy. It is just that after 9/11 we started to let the crazy off the leash and that's a bad thing.
Trying to recapture my previous glory I decided to write a sequal to the first book I wrote. The first book ended in the main character's suicide cause that was always gonna happen. As soon as I hit 50k words he was gonna pull out a gun and off himself. I was kinda hoping he'd be just walking down the street or something but no he was in the middle of an epic battle. It still worked and it even looked a little bit like I planned it. Go me! The sequal was going to be about the characters getting on with their lives. It was horrible. I want to rewrite it. I really do but not this year.
Last year my book was about a guy who everyone in power hates but he's to dangerous to kill and to useful to cut loose. He is the enemy that the keep closer and the only man for the job. He's old, mean, and haunted by his past. Trying to make up for his mistakes he joined Firewall to do good but he keeps ending up on their bad side. I loved it. It was actually a very plotty novel. Most of my otherones have a lot of navel gazing which is code for, “I have a daily word count to meet and I have no idea what to do next so we are going to stand around and think about life”. I really like doing things like that so it doesn't bother me.
It is nice to remember what you wrote. All my characters are very much outsiders, like myself. Sometimes they have a tight knit group of confidants. Sometimes they are utterly alone. Sometimes they struggle to be alone and sometimes they just struggle. Go with what you know I suppose. The thing I currently have on the burner is something that is very much along the same lines of what I've done before. The idea is that a small group of American teenagers have turned into people with low level super powers. There is a secret family of assasins who have sworn to protect such people but they can't operate in America because, well, America sees and hears to much and this group is supposed to be invisable. One of the group sets off to guard these kids anyway even though the partiarch of the family has ordered their deaths. He's alone, he's one of the most dangerous men in the world even amongst his family, and he's gotta keep these kids alive, out of the hands of the military, and away from the various groups who might want to capitalize on them. It came from the idea of, “Just because you can life and throw a car doesn't mean you can fight”. It has been knocking around in my head for a very long time. Originally I wanted it to be part of a serialized fiction thing I was going to do but it never got off the ground. However, I kinda want to do something different this year. Something new.
I'd like to write something about someone who is comfortable with his otherness. They know they are different and they are okay with it. Think of Superman without Clark Kent. Kent is more than just a secret identiy. It is a security blanket or if I am feeling uncharitable it is a type of madness. Here is a person who in modern comics could cure every disease on the planet, create and infinite clean powersource that could power the planet forever, to give us interstellar travel and to introduce us to the multitudes of alien life out there and instead he runs around Metropolis getting into trouble and pretending to be a bumbling do gooder from Kansas. Clark is Superman's insistance that he is human. That he belongs on our planet, that he thinks, feels, and looses just like the rest of us do. The crazy thing is that it works. He needs Clark to be Superman. Without him he is something differen. Something other. I find that it is this distinction that causes people to not understand the recent Man of Steel movie. That is what Superman looks like without Clark. He still loves his mom but he is torn between his Kryptonian heritage and the life built on earth. As the movie went on he piece by piece lost his connection with Kypton until there was nothing left but he and Zod. I think that even at the end Zod would of accepted him if he submitted to his will and let Krypton be rebuilt. Instead he chose us and at the very end of the movie we saw the half joking mischevious man of steel we know and love from his best comics. It was a very subtle journey. Sublety isn't something the internet is capable of.
I want someone with a confidence to be different. The modern day retelling of Sherlock on BBC is a good example. The big thing is less the character but what are they going to do? One of the most brilliant things I've ever read on the nature of heroism is, “Only villians try to change the world...” I wanted the exact quote but I couldn't find it. It is in the Runaways somewhere after they defeated the Pride. I don't need a whole lot of excuses to reread it I'll find it later. The point is that just about all my character's have ridden the line between heroism and villiany. I am okay with that I did it on purpose most of the time time especially with my first and last books. I don't know. I do know that I want to do something different this year. Maybe something truly reflective. Like a magically realistic memior. Actually that sounds really good. I might do that. The completely true story of my life. It would be more emotional than literal. Actually that wouldn't be very happy so I'd use my life like a model. Take some things fictionalize others and create something new. I like this. Imma do that. There is a 99% chance that it will turn out horribly. However, it has been an hour and I need to sleep.