Change is good.
I know of late, my thrill with writing has been lagging. When you’ve basically written yourself into a comfort zone, there isn’t much to be excited about. Sure, I tend be on the crazy side of the concept of comfort zone, but you still want a challenge. I think some of my dissatisfaction might be traced to some pseudo post-partum depression over ending the Southern Werewolf Chronicles. The series started way back in 2007. That amounts to seven years I’ve spent with these characters, nurturing them, loving them and all around just plain living with them. Leaving that part of my world behind is sad. I know the characters will still be popping up in my Bite Marks series, but that leads to another problem.
I’ve lost my way a bit with my Vampires. I have forgotten where I wanted to go. Could be the story doesn’t like the way my plans are leading it. Whatever the case, I can’t bring myself to open a doc and begin the next stage of my It was a dark and stormy bloodsucking night. This might not excite my readers of that series, but I’m not going to start writing again on the series until my head is screwed on straight where they’re concerned. Hate me if you want, but I refuse to write crap for the sake of just to write something. Ain’t going to happen.
So, what am I going to write?
A few weeks ago, I began work on the third book in the Scrolls of Eternity series. A couple chapters in, I decided perhaps my head just wasn’t screwed on straight for writing anything. A few days later I came down with a case of strep throat. A week of 102 degree fever really kicks fevered imagination into high gear. In the midst of cold sweats and raging cover tossing bed twisting, I had several whacked out dreams that concreted an idea that had been rolling around in my head for awhile now.
I’ve spoke of it before but being sick gave me the push to start working on a religious themed horror novel. Huh? Yeah you heard me right. Religious Horror. That doesn’t even sound right, but to me it does. The greatest books deal with issues, concepts, the nature of humanities relationship with the world both around them and the one beyond. Be it Science Fiction, Fantasy, or even Horror, man’s struggle to understand where he comes from seems to be a defining moment in who we are as a people. Whereas I love the escapism involved in Romance, and yes you can explore these themes in Romance, I wanted to as I said above step outside my comfort zone and try something completely outside my usual writing.
That said I am approaching 14,000 words on this new venture. More importantly, I am finding myself consumed by the characters. Like I hope you will be one day, I can’t wait to see how their story unfolds. For the first time in ages, I don’t know what comes next. I have a loose outline in my head, but how I get from Scene A to Scene B and beyond escapes me. I just enjoy the rollercoaster I’ve bought a ticket to ride. That’s what I’ve missed the most about writing, the uncertainty of it all. With the Love Bites and Bite Marks books, I did something predictable. I planned out the whole series after book three. Right now, I know how the thing ends. It’s like walking into the movies and seeing the last five minutes before your showing starts. My aunt revealed how Thelma and Louise ended and to this day I haven’t watched that movie. I know one day a new spark will drive me to go back to Bite Marks and finish them, but right now my mind is caught up in exploring this new world I’m in the process of creating.
I have always been a fan of books that make you reexamine your ideas on how things work. I honestly love anything that causes me to think. Thinking has become an undervalued component of the human condition. It’s just so easy to coast through any medium of entertainment. Television and Movies takes the work of out using your imagination. Most forms of our escapism today is built around the premise of giving us what we’re used to. No thinking involved. I’ll be the first to admit I’m as guilty as anyone of blindly accepting this and being okay with it. Who wants to strain their brain after working all day?
To reinforce the main purpose of this blog, it takes real courage to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. My as of yet untitled WiP has me doing just that. It will be the story of two men confronting what they each hold to be divine truth and deciding if it is worth building their lives around. Since the first man, or woman, took up a burnt stick and drew a squiggly line on a stone, man has tried to define our place in the universe. We’ve created deities to explain it. We’ve set ourselves as the center of the universe. We’ve made images and massive structures to last eons to show what has moved our hearts and minds.
But, what is the nature of God? Is there a God? How do the beliefs of an individual dictate their place in our society? These are just some of the questions that hold my attention rapt and questing to know more. So, it came as no surprise when the idea for this book came about, these issues would play a big part in the structure and theme of the story. It’s a bit scary because this book will be the most personal of any I have attempted to write. Its success or failure isn’t as important to me as the cathartic exercise involved in writing it. The selfish egotistical part of me wants it to strike a chord with the people who read it. We all want to be accepted. Writers more so, because we truly do pour ourselves into our work. For me, when this book is finished, I don’t care if you walk away swayed to my way of thinking. What matters most to me then?
That you close the book, or tablet, and just simply think.