Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Why I'll never finish my book

I am a writer at heart. Or maybe just touched in the head.

Characters have a habit of introducing themselves to me in my dreams. I observe them interacting and get a sense of their strengths, weaknesses, desires, challenges, secrets. Then they run through my thoughts unbidden and their stories start to unfold.

I have lived with one character in particular for years now. I know nearly everything about her. Yet I sincerely doubt her story will ever be told. Here's why:

1) I don't write enough.

And generally to finish a novel, one must write a fair bit. I have a handful of scenes, lots of notes, some character studies, and plenty of ideas. But it's nowhere close to being a cohesive narrative. This problem is compounded by the fact that...

2) I feel less creative when I'm busy with academic work.

I realized this back in college. I had a particular burst of creativity when I was out of classes, decided to channel that into a creative writing class, but found myself in dead water when I was trying to write fiction at the same time that I had research to do. Not that I've taken proper advantage of the times I've been away from academic work. Now that I've committed to the academic path (again), I can't imagine having the sort of respite I'd need to polish off a novel. But all of this is moot, given...

3) J.K. Rowling published first.

My character invaded my dreams well before the publication of Harry Potter, but comparison would be unavoidable simply because my heroine is an orphan of sorts and has a birthmark in the shape of a lightning bolt. Intellectually I understand that this is really just tapping into archetypes (and probably go all Jungian on you or cite from The Golden Bough if I wanted to look up a couple references), but I also know that in the end it would all come down to Harry Potter.

Not that the world needed another random fantasy novel anyway.

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