I struggled through the screen writing workshop but never completed my first draft. It’s not the goal of the first workshop but something you’d really like to do within a few months afterward. Since this was all just an experiment to find the form and length most suited to my style, I wasn't too deterred. I pushed on and signed up for Introduction to Short Fiction, even though I felt my plots are too complicated for 5000 words or less. It’s an experiment right? So there’s nothing to lose in a learning experience.
Early on in the Short Fiction course I discovered something amazing and kooky about my stories, something I think contributes to my inability to finish a projected. For whatever reason, the stories I concoct, while interesting and enjoyable for others to read – at least according to some of the workshop critiques, the stories do not interest me. Say what??? I came to this insane realization, that I was writing stories I wouldn’t read myself, much less buy. They were my ideas, characters and plots but they weren’t in the types of universes I enjoy escaping to when I read fiction.
It was a real mind-bender when I came to this conclusion while trying to force myself to sit down and edit a story. My plots were all gritty and in your face like, Babylon Babies, which while I enjoyed the movie (Babylon AD), I WOULD NEVER have read the books - ever. Then I considered my prose, this blog, which is also delivered in a cut-to-the-chase style. But that's not what I actually read myself. A few participants suggested I try graphic novels, that my tone and style were a perfect fit. I cringed and wept on the inside. Not really, I have nothing against those forms but once again, we're back to that's NOT what I read myself or enjoy.
When I pick up a book for entertainment and escapism, I want fantasy that is lighthearted and whimsical like Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap series or epic and urban, like The The Amber Chronicles by Roger Zelazny. My favorite short story author is Ursula K. Le Guin, for her short stories that were the precursors to her novel The Wizard of Earthsea. I don't want to even explore the physiological implications that what seeps from my pen is more like The Omen. You can check out the simple assignment that brought the problem to light for me here. Yet it could on some level explain my procrastination beyond the original blurting out of the tale compared the long road of refinement that follows.Now that I thought I had unearthed a contributing factor, I decided to forage through much earlier story ideas. Maybe I'd find something hidden there before I'd become so very jaded. As luck would have it I did find something more like what I'd read, and it has a great opportunity to provide stories that will fit into this very short form I'm currently learning. I've received good feedback and am actually excited about working on the next draft which is a new feeling for me. *smile*
I have this foreboding, that nothing sustainable is going to come along to capture my interest for long in 2010. I’m still holding out hope for Allods Online. Yet I’m going in knowing that I will likely exist at the end-game, over the group-only Allods exploration and ship combat.
Once they get “foot-out-ass” with the Cash Shop, it’s still worth the trip to max level. But where do I go from there? I have a sinking feeling it will be next World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm. No offense to Blizzard or WOW but if that's best available for me in a fantasy experience this year, then damn, I will have hit a new low.
I could return with my tri-box characters to see the changes while questing. I could tri-box the new races, but that's a bit extreme to start over again. Plus I’ve yet to step foot in WoTLK. If Cataclysm brings back that nostalgic feeling for the original world, which was always my favorite, I might have to join the other returning players. No one seems to be able to out shine Blizzard’s ability to add something at least once a year, that everyone wants to see – for a while at least. Lord help me if that's my best choice for a fantasy MMO this year.