Saturday, May 15, 2010

Inside a Writer’s Head: Day 1 of 28

Morning

Lots to do. It's a bit overwhelming what's in front of me, so I'll try to keep it simple. What's interesting is the sense of… blessing I feel in making this attempt. Somehow in trying to wrestle with the dimensions and theology of the world I've created, I sense more God's presence in my life. And yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds, but there it is. Having read far too many books about Neurology, I'm sure that 'sense' can be explained biologically. However, I am growing increasingly comfortable once again with mystical ideas about God. Shutting off that tap seems like folly to me, because every generation thinks – likes to think – that they have it all figured out. Reaching for the Divine through rationalism eventually leads to a claim on divinity, and if there is one thing I am sure of, it is that I am not God, nor even partly God.

If there's one concern going forward, it is that the book will end up as nothing more than an extended cliché. The 'same old' fantasy that has already been written a thousand times. The only way to fight that, I think, is to inhabit my characters, listen to them as they tell me their story, and write from their perspective.

Another fear is that the best works of fantasy are greatly and lavishly detailed. My rewrite will be easily be bogged down in simple description, since I find it the most difficult aspect of writing. The good news is that Josh has separated himself for me, and while he is quiet and insecure, I am his biggest fan and supporter. His heart is in the right place, for all the mistakes he seems to make, and that matters a great deal, I think.

I'd be remiss not to mention his mother, De Nyara. She was born, something of a miracle child, in her own right, and forsook her place as one of the most powerful persons in Dioneysia to marry Josh's father, Caleb, a rogue Bishop from the Empire. She married out of love and with the hope that they could unite the two states peacefully. What she gave up to attempt that, however, was more than her place of power. Sometimes I feel her looking at me through the pages. Be fair, is what she tells me. I do not know why she emphasizes that so much, but I try to honour it just the same.

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Evening

It's nearly 8pm on the first day and I'm feeling whipped already. The screen is blurry and I'm trying to figure out why I'm doing this in the first place. Oh, right. This is what writers are supposed to do. Got it. The one hour workout at five o'clock has helped, along with the fifteen minutes of prayer and meditation. Did I mention that I have prohibited the use of any intoxicant, beer, wine, rum, for the duration of the 28 days. No celebrating until it is over. Of course, by then I probably won't be able to handle more than simply smelling the caps. The good news is that I am so immersed in the story it is much easier to hear my characters. And there is this strange sense of… work, in what I'm doing. I mean that in a good way. Writing, like any creative activity, is not like cooking or accounting or programming, but sometimes we (writers, artists) use that as an excuse not to work. In that sense, today feels good.

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