Days like today I feel like Jenny Everywhere, tripping from one reality to another with some concern about what I’m going to find. I think that’s the nature of writing, and even more so when you write about those things that are on the rather fantastic side.
My NaNo Novel deals with a far different world that the one we know. Well, maybe not different, but when the main character is a sorceress who lives in a modern version of the Holmes Murder Castle, it’s not going to be your parent’s world.
And my work in progress . . . it’s a bit stranger, in that it deals with a different world, a different time, totally different situations, and even when you think you know what’s going on, I’m going to surprise you.
I don’t think it really hit me until after my nap (and, yes, I needed one for some reason) that when it comes to writing, I’m all over the place. Someone asked me in a chat, “What genre do you write?” and I told them: I have published horror, I have just sold an erotica piece, I’m doing a novel that pretty much paranormal fantasy, and my work in progress is straight up science fiction.
I think it says something about me when you realize that of those four titles, the erotica comes closest to being in the “real world”–and even then, my old erotica got about as far away from the real world as you could imagine.
I am not a “normal” kind of guy. I’ve always been interested in the those things that were just a little different. And my reading interests went along the same lines. One of my favorite science fiction series was John Varley’s Gaea Trilogy, of which Titan was the first novel. It was one of the best stories I’d ever read, and even to this day I’ve been hard pressed to find a written work that impressed me as much. Any time you have astronauts stranded inside a living creature as big as a moon, and they discover said creature has creatures its created just because, you know you’re going to have a good time.
And even among friends who read science fiction–and that was never a lot, trust me–nearly all of them had neither heard of the novels, or decided they couldn’t be bothered to read them. Given a choice between vanilla science fiction and reading something interesting, I’d always go for the interesting.
And I’ve tried to go there in my writing.
I’m not saying I’m another John Varley, but I would love to go in that direction. I feel the need to be different; I feel the need to go after things that interest me and, I would hope, interest others. But like I’ve said before, I have to write for myself–because if I can’t write things I enjoy, then I’m just writing for a paycheck.
The funny thing is, my science fiction story isn’t really “out there”, but I like to think it’s very character driven. And that’s important to me, because I like my character, and I like to have them drive my stories onward. That was one of the great things I loved about Titan: the characters kept it moving. Even when you wondered how strange things might get, the characters kept it interesting. Because, in the end, it really was about them.
I want my multiverse to be everywhere and everything. But if I have characters that don’t seem real . . . you know, you’re better off staying home and watching reality TV, ’cause when it comes to unreal characters . . ..