This hasn’t been that great of a week for me for a variety of reasons, but one of the things bothering me is the fact that my online novel collapsed on me…again. Writing about Mars. Not writing about Mars. It seems like I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. Screwed either way. The result has been a glorious exercise in freaking out.
For now, the online novel is on hiatus indefinitely, at least until I can get my head out of my ass. To me, there’s no sense in reworking the website for it when I’ve got nothing to go on. So when it’s ready to go, you guys will be the first to know.
The Mars-vs-Another-Planet issue aside, there was something that I completely overlooked, something no writer ever should: I had a situation but no characters. I didn’t know who I’d be writing about, or what major beats they’d have to hit. I guess, in the back of my mind, I thought I could bullshit my way through the novel.
Chuck Wendig, that glorious liaison between humanity and the No-Bullshit Gods, once wrote: “I don’t care if you’re outlining, drawing mind-maps, collecting research, or spattering notes on the wall in your own ropy jizz – you’d better be doing some kind of planning lest your tale flail around in the dark.“
Plain and simple, writers are no more special than anyone else. There’s a rumor going around that writers can tap into an ethereal pool of creative knowledge, God’s only special keg of beer. I wish we could, but it just ain’t so. There’s a lot of hard work going on from the neck up. It’s a simple fact, and maybe because it’s so simple, it’s sometimes easy to forget.