(This post was originally written on 750words.com. It has been edited.)
If I can’t even manage 750 words a day, how do I expect to do NaNoWriMo? Granted, most of the problems are the site not saving properly and me not starting early enough. Also, I have to get over the no distractions thing. When I start writing fiction, I’m not going to be able to write without stopping like I can when it’s just stream of consciousness. Now, I’m just writing whatever comes to mind. When I’m writing the novel, I have a few more restrictions. Planning is coming along well. I’m figuring out more about my characters as I go. I love, actually, focusing on one character. I know the trend these days is multi-POVs, but the trend is also vampires and zombies, and I’m not writing that. I really have to just write what I write and see what happens. Because it’s not going to be any good if it’s not something I love.
That’s the whole point, right? Everything I’ve ever written is because I couldn’t find written what I wanted to read. I don’t read a lot of fiction because I can never find the kind of fiction I want to read. Not anymore anyway, from the contemporary section of the bookshelf. I still like the modernists, but they aren’t writing new books anymore. I don’t know if anyone’s writing like them anymore. I don’t think I write like them, but I’m influenced, certainly. I wonder who influenced the bestsellers of today? What does JK Rowling read? Or Stephanie Meyer?
I feel bad, because I’ve never actually read Twilight. But at the same time, I don’t care because I wouldn’t read a novel about vampires anyway. Doesn’t matter how well it’s written. It’s the same reason I’m not compelled to read Dracula by Bram Stoker, why I didn’t care for Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Doesn’t matter how much I love her as a person, she didn’t write a book that appeals to me. Though, I do like that Shelley’s a better writer than Stoker. Just out of spite.
I think she may even be a better writer than her husband. And Byron. She was the best of the bunch. I want to read more about that time they spent in Geneva. I still want to see that movie, too. Why can’t I find it? They challenged each other to write a novel on their vacation. Primitive NaNo. And I love that the big names didn’t even finish. It was Shelley, and that other guy, whose name I can’t recall write now, but I’m sure it was John something. That’s how memorable his book was. I wonder if there are drafts or incomplete pages of what Percy and Byron wrote. Hubris, I think it must have been. They believed that because they were already published, they could write a novel, too. But both Byron and Percy wrote poetry.
It’s a very different animal from a novel. It’s a helluva lot more work, for one thing. Novels rely on character and place much more than poetry. Poetry is words and images. But I want to write something that combines the two. I want my novel to read like poetic prose, but not in that purpley way. In the way that Shakespeare wrote his plays in verse. The audience doesn’t always notice when the text changes from prose to poetry, but that’s what makes it.
It’s Shakespeare’s language that we remember today, more than his plots. His plots he stole from all over, from all languages. He was just a master stylist. Not making his own clothes, but knowing how they go together on a body. Not making up his own stories, but knowing how they go together on a stage. His genius was marketing, actually. Putting the shine on things and making them palatable for his audience of the day. But my characters are already contemporary. I just haven’t decided if I’m going to steal a plot from Shakespeare, and just reference him. It’s already been done to death, the taking a classic plot and making it high school.