As a sequel to yesterday’s post, this is my thoughts on what I want out of my life in the near future. I want to be a better person–but that’s vague. What do I really want? I want t be a novelist, but sadly I already am, and the process is driving me insane because I can’t find a book I want to write enough to make me forget all the anger I still feel toward other people. Maybe if I wrote an angry viewpoint character that might fix things in some sort of fictional self-performed exorcism. I kind of like the idea. It could be interesting.
Perhaps I’m not reaching far enough, or perhaps I’m not looking deep enough to come up with ideas I really want to write. I’ve had a number of conversations with my twin brother about this mess and the conclusion we have reached is that I don’t need different trappings, necessarily, for a new story. What I want is something deeper–some sort of thematic or just purely human means of looking into this mess.
When I was in college I read a lot of books considered literature, and I think they ruined my taste for a good idea that goes deep. I think this because writers like Faulkner and Woolf write stories that feature magical elements that never get explained and that drives me so crazy with annoyance that I can’t appreciate the human aspect of their stories. Now, this may be a little unfair, but I think the lack of exploring a central character’s means of mind-reading or the reason of a character’s sudden sex-change and time travel is sloppy writing. See: As I Lay Dying (Faulkner) for the first one, and Orlando (Woolf) for the second. I don’t like stories where the magic is never even justified, possibly because I grew up with more modern fantasy stories like the Lord of the Rings. So that’s one thing I want. I want justification, logic, and reason in my fantasy.
The real world is an inexplicable place at times. I can live with that. After all, human experience isn’t the only experience. The world is full of animals and plants living their lives alongside humankind. I used to crave writing the perspective of nonhuman characters, but through college I began liking people more and more. My view of Frankenstein’s monster has changed. I used to have sympathy for his plight–that was the first I read it. Last time I read it, I decided he was simply a self-righteous, self-appointed avenger. His myopia is the most unforgivable thing about him, his lack of any kind of positivity or compassion. Of course, Victor Frankenstein is hardly any better. So I suppose I want stories that feature moral heroes, but not necessarily nice ones. Or perhaps I simply want characters that see beyond themselves as well as inside themselves. Terror of terrors, I may even appreciate human characters more than aliens now.
This morning has been frustrating. I am not driven enough to write or even to read. I need to make some new habits in my life, more than I need to figure anything out. Those new habits are clearly to include reading and writing every day. The problems I have are balance, and once again, drive.