When I write, it’s because I want to explore a concept, or have a question. My first book: “What would happen if we could genetically take away someone’s free will?” My second novel: “Do we truly have the power to make a choice or is our fate predetermined?” See a pattern here? I have a question, and the way I work it out is through the characters that join in on the endeavor and put up with my playing God in their lives.
July is only a month away now, and with it brings another Camp NaNoWriMo. Earlier in the year, I returned to my first ever novel (the one written at age 14), and decided that while I liked the story, the execution was horrid. I’ve thickened the plot and fleshed out the characters, and had planned on writing that one for Camp in July. I’m sure you writers can understand what happened next.
Yep: I stumbled upon a concept that I just couldn’t shake. The shock is that it isn’t fantasy or science fiction, like my usual writing, but pure fiction, and probably young adult fiction at that. It’ll be written in 1st person, rather than my usual 3rd person. The story could easily be called cliche: a group of friends take off on a cross-country road trip as a final hoo-rah before entering college. And, the main character – the one who everything will be seen through – is blind.
This decision really came from the challenge I put on myself: can I still write a compelling novel without the arguably most important sense in the human body? How can I show mood without describing body language?
Maybe no one will ever read it and I’ll stow it away deep in my hard drive as a personal project. Maybe it’s a fruitless pursuit. Maybe I’ll write 50K words of goopy cheese balls. Maybe I won’t even make it to 50K. But, I’ll have tried. I’ll have pushed myself to work out my writing muscles. And if I find that fiction really isn’t my forte and I prefer to create my own worlds and break the laws of physics? At least I’ll have learned something.