Wed 13 Oct 2010
The upbeat (for me) tone of the current WIP has not been matching my mood or life circumstances lately, so I find myself wanting to write something darker. I also thought perhaps I should work on something with series or trilogy potential since I understand that standalone novels might be a tough sell these days. I don’t think I should (and don’t want) to write to the market, but the circumstances of mood/market might be an excuse to work on something my subconscious has been leaning towards for weeks now—maybe much longer.
My second novel, Blood Geek, was set in a traveling carnival in 1938 and although the novel itself was flawed and I trunked it long ago, I’ve always thought there was quite a bit of life left in the setting I created for it. I could see a number of potential stories revolving around minor characters in that carnival. Apparently, my hindbrain thought so, too, because I have been assiduously collecting historical data and pictures from the 1930s and early 1940s. It’s been an almost unconscious process. I see myself stashing this information in folders and occasionally ask, “What do you propose to do with this stuff?” To which my backbrain answers coyly, “You know perfectly well.”
I suspect I do. I’m not sure it’s the place where I should be putting my energy now, but I reckon I have little choice or control about some things in my life or in the market. I’ve got to write what I can when I can, and push through to the finish of something—which takes a lot of commitment and a certain kind of obsession. If I am not properly obsessed with an idea or a piece of work chances are it will be an interminable struggle with little pay off. Without the obsession, it may not be the right time for that work. Perhaps it will never have a time, or maybe it will take the vast, subterranean journey through the aquifer that my carnival idea has taken and come bubbling up again years hence, fresh and full of life. Done with waiting, it declares its time is now, that I must set all else aside because it is finally ready.
But the question is, am I?