I’ve been through a lot of big changes recently, but perhaps the biggest one is this: I’m finally writing the novel.
Writing the Novel(TM) is officially my longest-running life goal. I’ve wanted to do it since I was about six. To date, though, lots of things have gotten in the way: school, not understanding how novels work, more school, need to make money so as not to starve (incompatible with novel-writing, as it turns out!), more school, more work, crippling self-doubt….
I have, so far, vanquished none of these. But thanks to some clever life reorganizing and a job that has informed me that the novel is a priority, the novel is, at least, getting written.
I have learned one thing so far about writing a novel: writing makes you lonely and weird.
This might be the loneliest thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve lived in the woods for a week at a time all by myself. It’s lonely not because it’s a solo enterprise, but because there is an entire world in my head that excites me. I want to talk about it. I want to share it. I want to infodump or fansquee about this awesome incredible universe and wheeee these characters omg I did not see that coming did you!?!?
(Seriously. My characters are far, far better at plot than I am.)
And it’s weird because I now live in that world all the time. And until the first draft is finished, I’ll keep living in that world all the time. Half of me lives here, in the physical spaces my body inhabits; the rest of me lives on a fictional starship in an unspecified part of the galaxy. And my wires cross. A LOT. Which makes my conversation and behavior even more weird than usual. My scripts are starting to include lines from my own novel – a series of references so obscure, I am currently the only human on Earth who gets them.
I’m starting to understand why writers infodump about their novels in Facebook communities or present them as serial drafts on their blogs before releasing them in print. But I’ve also realized that anything short of the serial draft is deadly boring to anyone who isn’t me. And so I’m restraining myself from fansqueeing all about my own work – which is only making me lonelier and weirder.
I’m okay with that.