Monday, December 23, 2013

The Self versus the Story

Aish! Am understanding more about the freedom that comes (to me) from writing epic fantasy. In epic fantasy, I can avoid specifics about my life which are rooted in circumstances, contemporary life, etc. Not so contemporary fiction.

So here I am, writing My Life as an Onion, which is a kind of wish-fulfillment novel. That means it's a bit of a romance with some of my issues but which has a good HEA conflict. Unfortunately, I've been messing up the story with too much of my grudges, grievances, hurts, etc.

Being a writer is a good thing, especially if you're a repressed Christian who never defended yourself although you had a really good comeback to a nasty comment because we didn't want to be "full of self" and we wanted to be nobly silently-forgiving. Incidentally, I've begun to realize how not speaking up for ourselves just leaves us emotionally-wounded and bitter. Whereas speaking our heart in the moment leaves us feeling safer. Anyway, while I've never been really good at defending myself the instance I'm being insulted, I kinda got way good at on-the-spot defending the Bible and the oppressed.

But the thing is: here is a good story and I keep messing up the plot by inserting my petty grievances. The plot (which is about a story just telling itself and finding itself while the writer just kinda listens) is battling my memories and my unsaid-but-dying-to-be-aired grievances. Aargh!

So, what's going on? Is this a lack of faith in self-justification going on here? Won't God justify me one day? Why do I need to do it?

In The Constant Tower, I let the story tell itself. I had no agenda. I basically just narrated whatever floated up to my fingers. I wrote, nypassing my brain. I didn't plot or outline. That's how I tend to write most of my stories. The result of all that was that Constant Tower had all my issues without having any agenda. The story has heavy issues of marriage, feminism, parental cruelty, racism, eugenics, religion, imperialism, entitlement, disability...but there are no parallels of events n my life. Is this because I didn't have any contemporary hook to hang my grievances on?

Moving back to Onion....aaaaaaaaaaaargh! What I have --sadly-- done is list all the above issues WITH/ASIDE all the real-life incidents that caused them. Not good all that clutter and regurgitation. Gotta let it go...gotta let all bitterness and the need to "have my say" go. Aaargh! so stressful.

Gotta find the story, gotta find the story, gotta keep battling self throughout as it keeps rearing its head. Even when i think I've finally removed every inch of self-justification the next thing I've written a new scene filled with self and memories. This is a problem. Cause I'm thinking of writing contemporary novels from now on...instead of epic fantasies but it's beginning to look as if my fantasies are purer stories and fall from the sky more clearly than my contemporary stories. Quite the problem to ponder now.... will see.

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