Ever since I started this blog, the desire to start writing fiction again lurked in the back of my mind. Thirty years ago in college, I could conceive a plot and bang it out on my Selectric typewriter overnight in time for deadline and get top marks on the first draft. I was used to that pressure cooker mode of working which certainly wouldn’t work now in the professional world of publishing. The point is words flowed freely from my mind to the paper.
I hoped that blogging would remove that blockage. While it has helped the creative sap to rise particularly with drawing, I still have difficulty putting pen to paper, as it were. I could create another fanvid before composing a new piece of fiction. I’ve pondered long and hard about this.
One of my mental hang ups is the need to understand my style. Every time I’m complimented on it, I want to grab them and ask “what *is* my style?” Finally I asked. The answer was: “humorous.” This gave me pause, not for being funny, because that’s what I had intended, but due to wondering if this was my *style.* I imagined writing a murder mystery or historical novel which usually has more serious tones. Was I stuck being a Dave Barry or Erma Bombeck, famous humorous writers? Yes, before I’d written my first sentence, I was already fretting about being taken seriously as a writer, nevermind whether I had real talent.
Most likely the biggest hurdle is my wanting to write like other writers. I was enthralled with the lyrical styles of Colleen McCollough and Toni Morrison thinking, “I want to write like them!” But unless that’s what naturally flowed onto my paper, that would never be my style. My mind doesn’t compose in that manner; trying to copy it would look exactly what it is, second rate copying. So I’m back to square one, mulling over what is my serious style.
People in ArmitageWorld have asked when am I writing fan fiction. My first reaction was, “oh good grief no” but then that’s what I said about making fanvids. In a way fanfic provides a ready template with the characters and universe already in place. Just add a new plot and a credible bit of fanfic is born. As much as I want to write the next Great American Novel, I need to take baby steps; writing a short fanfic is an realistic goal. I need to simply write and see what it looks like.
Then people can tell me what my style is.
Over the next few days, I will interview other authors for advice and see what they have to say to a novice like me. Stay tuned.