I’ve been ‘free’ from my corporate analyst job for exactly one week.
I turn 28 in a week tomorrow.
Mild panic fizzes through my dreams and churns while I’m awake, motivating me to do exactly nothing. I could go get a high-powered, highly paid corporate job. The thought fills me with dread.
I could move overseas; I’ve wanted to get back to Scotland ever since I visited in university. But I’d still have to work the dreaded office job.
I love the prestige, the money, the status of being a talented working professional. I hate the hours at a desk, the dress code, the meaninglessness of everything you produce, and the drama with which all workers fill their experience as a form of punishtainment.
So I’m going back to the beginning. I was a writer as a teen. A melodramatic, self-absorbed, clueless writer, but everyone has an awkward phase. Now I’m equal parts hopeful that I can find my way back to the unstable artist inside and terrified that I’ve let the talent decay to nothing, or worse that there never was anything there to begin with.
I know there are precious few authors that are self-supporting as novelists, and for whatever reason, that’s the only type of writer I’d ever consider being. Possibly because the stress of my prima-donna writing style and artistic obsessiveness is too much to dive in and out of business or academic writing. Probably mostly because I hate criticism, constructive or otherwise.
Also: I learned today that I have no capacity whatsoever to write at home. Ironic, since I hated going to the office everyday, but I spent two hours today walking in search of somewhere to write, after three pretending to be just about to sit down and write (while watching TV, responding to emails, making tea and handling general correspondence….)
So this may turn into a bit of travelogue and drinker’s diary… Note: the Multiweizen was pretty good. Black Light tastes like ash, in a pleasant, heavy way. Roughly 6oz in, I’m just starting to feel the pleasantly floaty buzz. Watch the incoherence mount!
I’ve never dated. Hardly ever even come close. There are lots of reasons and no reason why. I wonder if I can write a good romance? Maybe an entirely imaginary romance is superior to a realistic one? I’ll proceed on that assumption for my own peace of mind.
I feel like romance is a fundamental part of life and thus a necessary component in nearly all stories. I think I’ll write YA novels. When I was a teen, I wanted to write children’s books; now my characters are really 20-something, but I think I can shove them back to their teens - the movies do it all the time, after all.
It might be a problem that all my characters track along with me. I’ve been accused of writing protagonists as myself in the past. I’m going to try not to this time, but of course you can only write perspectives that you can imagine.
I made a point of going out to experience life, meet people, try to understand. I guess now I’ll find out if I’ve captured my world believably, or at least in an interestingly warped way.
Today is a planning day. It’s tempting to just jump into the story and start writing, letting the characters and world lead me, but I’ve never reached the end of a story that way.
This story is a bit different. It’s set in Vancouver, and has elements of sci-fi, fantasy (maybe?), and horror, or at least thriller. It was very clearly a fantasy romance (or paranormal romance?) originally, but I’m wondering if that will still crop up, at least the same way.
On the one hand, it seems to sell right now. On the other, I seem to get more feminist every year. I may be at risk of finding answers through my own writing. I’m not sure I care.
Also, either this keyboard is not the best shape for me, or the 12oz of beer is starting to catch up to my typing.
Not a fan of the No Brainer pre-prohibition style. Which means I’d better down it next to get it out of the way.
Anyways, I’ve got a page or so of world-building notes around a sort of post-apocalyptic/alternate world Vancouver where dreams take on form in order to destroy dreamers. The idea was initially a bit Godzillaesque; nightmare monsters stalk and kill people. They emerge from the mists, fogs, shorelines, anything borderline really. Think giant spiders. A hero swoops in with the ability to cut down these monsters, and the protag falls in love.
Pretty cut and dried. I started fiddling with some light and dark fairies, abandoned children at local monuments, trying to get it to tie in to an idea I’ve had for a while about an X-Man style superhero team where every member is a mythical/fairytale creature that transforms. No idea if it’ll go there or not now.
On the one hand, I don’t think the tone matches. Kind of like the original The Vampire Diaries novels when it jumps the shark and starts going to other worlds (dimensions?) and Japanese monsters attack?
On the other, I have no idea who the antagonist is or where the plot goes without these items. I’m looking at something more nebulous (horroresque?) now… like every dream, good or bad, has the ability to take form, warp and drive the dreamer to madness and death. Anything that might contribute to a dream (sleeping, daydream, ambition etc.)
So society is crippled, all art, music, architecture, opportunity, fantasy is outlawed and human lives are regimented in order to try to keep people from dreaming. Childhood and adolescence is likewise abolished.
Of course, human beings being as they are, a fatalistic underground movement simmers.
It’s been nearly an hour and I’m nearly through my beer. It’s time to go take a stab at roughing out the plot. Wish me luck!
Local shout-out: Brassneck at 5th&Main has been a nice, quiet location. Interesting beer and nice snacks. On the expensive side for a poor writer; spent close to $20. The Viognier Changeling is excellent, for those of you in the area. Hmm… Coincidence?
Start time: 2:15 pm
Location: Brassneck Brewery
Drinking: 4-flight taster (No Brainer pre-prohibition style corn lager, Multiweizen five grain weisse beer, viognier’s changeling sour fruit beer with viognier grape must, black light black alt beer) and Maui beef jerky
Soundtrack: vintage prohibition instrumental? Sounds like it’s alternating between smooth Hawaiian slide guitars and horns, and the Sleeping Beauty soundtrack.