Purposeful Delays

So, I have been dealing with a lot of stuff, as anyone who has read the last few entries would know. It would have been a good time to dive into my new writing project, to immerse myself in the fictional landscape and planning and to otherwise distract myself. I hope to get to that point someday, where I can put the world aside, even when in the planning stages of writing. Right now I use books, movies, video games, and fantasy (though this last easily turns into obsessing and is therefore not as useful).

Unfortunately, when something is really serious, my mind spazzes out and I’m unable to give things the proper attention and care they deserve. Nothing gets done, and all I do is mope around in my own head.

Or so I thought.

At this stage in my development, I am unable to put aside the cares of my world and focus on a story of my own devising. However, something is working in the background at all times, and I realized this last night. It’s like my mind is a giant ass, clenching so tight that it turns charcoal into a diamond. I can’t get anything else in there, I can’t use it to distract myself, but there are processes going on inside. (Foul analogy, I know. I would apologize if it wasn’t so apt.)

After talking to my ex (who popped me out of my idiocy), I spent the better part of a day on iFunny. The next day I listened to the audio book for The Other Boleyn Girl and played Lunar: Silver Star Harmony on my PS Vita. When I came out of it, I realized several things.

First — and there is a valuable writing lesson here — I do love Philippa Gregory’s historical fiction, but she lacks anything even resembling subtlety. If she doesn’t like a character, you will know it. She clearly thinks Anne Boleyn was a grasping harpy, so we are treated to an unrelenting barrage of scenes where Anne is a bitch for no discernable reason, leaving one to wonder why her sister Mary Boleyn didn’t chop the whore’s head off herself. It was a lesson to not be so heavy handed with my opinions and to give each character, no matter how heinous, time to develop. Little did I know it, but it gave me insight into my current antagonist. I always want to know why when it comes to villains. Ambition, lust for power, greed, just plain lust, those aren’t enough for me. So, it helped in that way.

Second, I came out of it (likely because of Lunar and it’s similarities in main characters to the first Lufia game) wondering what it would be like to have total amnesia, or to be reincarnated but to have this deep-seated knowledge you can’t explain. I love video games, especially JRPGs, but they over use that formula: simple boy/girl with unknown powers sets off to save the world and discovers him/herself. But I wondered what it would be like to have those memories filter back. And a conundrum I found myself in with the new story resolved itself.

Third, when trying to imagine Mary Boleyn’s trip to Hever or the court on progress or getting my Lunar party to the hag’s house or the layout of this forest or that cave or this port town, I started to think of something I read a long time ago about fantasy writing. Draw a map. Somehow, without even being aware of it, I was taking parts of England and the fictional Lunar landscape and combining them with my ideas for my entirely fictitious town. I haven’t drawn it out yet, but it’s there in my brain.

All this (and more) was happening below the surface, so when I finally was able to write a little last night, it all came to me, and I used it all. So, my delays weren’t intended, but they did have purpose, and while I hope that they pan out, I’d like to learn to do this consciously. On purpose. Still, I’m glad for the progress when I thought that I was too in my own head to make any at all.

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~ by Darren Endymion on March 9, 2015.

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