Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Books suck.


If it's not bad enough I have to work on other people's books all day, which labor is better for me than honest work like digging ditches (I have delicate knees, you know), I am compelled to work on my own books, which is a goddamn nightmare. There, I said it. 

What are books? Novels are stories lies about fake people. Histories are lies about real people. Self-help books are lies through and through. Who cares? Stupid books.

The U.S. Library of Congress, chock full of stupid, stupid books. 
Even my immature rampages don't come from nowhere, and mine is caused by a project I've been trying to get started. I had intended to write a mystery, a real whodunnit, and when you do that you face a sophisticated audience that's been reading these things for a century and is hard to surprise. So I've been plotting, plotting, plotting for weeks, and finally got an outline I thought would work. At last! After a challenging day of beating others' books into shape, I sat down to write.

Nothing came out.

I can't even write about how hard it suddenly was to write, because I couldn't write.

They call it writer's block, but it's more like writer's constipation, although one hopes the eventual product will be superior to that of the metaphor.

I feel like an ED sufferer, to switch medical metaphors: This never happened to me before! And while that's probably not true, it hasn't ever felt quite so... useless, shall we say. Like shooting pool with a rope, to quote the great Rodney.

And there are reasons. The last project I engaged in was not my idea initially, but rather was suggested to me; I wound up doing hundreds of hours of work for nothing. Hey, I'm no government employee; if I don't work, I don't get paid. How much time can I reasonably spend writing things on spec? Hollywood may be full of vipers, but everyone gets paid. Publishing? Not so's you'd know.

When I woke up this morning I realized what part of the problem was; I had intended to use a bit of exposition early on that would have made the opener bland, a kind of "and then this happened and then that happened" passage that would bore the character who was telling it, let alone the reader. By working in the information in with some more craft, I could remove the blandness and make the opener work better.

Aha! I'm a genius! Writing is great! Yahoo!

Please, someone, murder me. Thanks.  
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