Monday, August 11, 2014

A Statement

So I've been pursuing writing prose pretty seriously for several years now. You've followed my journeys through several NaNoWriMos and if we interact in the world (or on Twitter or Facebook) you know I'm always talking about this or that story. Always mentioning how many words I've written in a day and so on and so forth.

I'm a writer. I've had a couple of things published and there's more to come. But I've yet to find a way to break through in a larger fashion. I wrote a novel that's been read by a handful of people and there's acknowledgement from those readers that it's good. Maybe it's the best thing I've written yet. I don't know.

Thinking about it, I have started wondering where the ideas behind my stories are falling. Are they wholly original? Not quite. Some of them not at all. Is my voice original? I don't know. I hope so but I don't think I'm the person to be able to say that. I'm confident, though. I can say at least that much.

Yeah, I've been doing some soul searching, looking introspectively at my work and writing habits in an effort to determine what it is I write.

I can call it science fiction all I want, and it is, but that's not all it is. There are elements of fantasy to it, like Star Wars. There's romance to my writing as well, like Firefly is romantic not like Harlequin bodice rippers. And when I really think about it, there's not as much science as there is in the kind of SF stories I like best.

People need to be able to categorize one's work. Scientific Romances were actual things though now they're archaic. I like Science Fantasy but I don't want that label to dismiss the interactions between people that are so important to great stories. Of which I've written none. Like I mentioned above, some of my stories are okay, maybe good. Not great. Not yet.

As I write more I gain confidence. My saving throws for stories lately haven't been what I need and that discouraged me for a bit, but I still gained experience points. Every so often I'll level up. One of these days I'll get there.

I'm science-literate but not fluent. I need to work on that. I suppose that will inform more stories, too, and allow me to find if not original ideas then at least original takes on them.

Knowing that I'm not as good as I want to be is something but not everything. It's not a mistake to think that I'm a decent writer. Not wholly original but competent and with enough knowledge and experience to show promise. So instead of dwelling on the downside of competent, I endeavored to figure out what I do well. That's the Venn diagram above. That's the reminder I need to help me focus and improve.

So that's what's next. Feedback is the important step here. I need all I can get: good, bad or ugly. It won't hurt my feelings and I'll try mightily to keep from becoming discouraged but the feedback is essential.

Okay, long, rambly post has to end here. I've got writing to do.

1 comment:

Aspen said...

You know, the great SF nerds of yore (I'm thinking Asimov, Clarke, etc.) all pretty much assumed that in the future everybody would be highly science fluent. But what if where you are now is about what the average joe can expect in the future? Literate, but not proficient. Good enough to spot an obvious line of BS most of the time. But most people don't make their living doing science, and a lot are still prone to conspiracy theorizing. Can you write those stories?