Formulaic writing is the mind-killer.
Formula is the little-death that brings creative obliteration.
I will face the monomyth.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the hero’s journey has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
I’m working on several things at once. That’s a good thing. Both so that, when I finish one thing I’ve always got another thing queued up to be working on, and also so that, if I get bored/frustrated/blocked on one thing, I can simply switch projects and work on something else. Here are just a few of the things I’m working on right now, or will begin working on soon:
- running a Kickstarter campaign for Never Let the Right One Go
- developing a book trailer for Never Let the Right One Go
- editing Never Let the Right One Go based on First-Reader feedback
- making a decision about the cover(s) for Never Let the Right One Go
- recording the audio books for Never Let the Right One Go
- composing the theme music for the NLtROG audio books & trailer
- writing a book about my experiences writing & publishing
- studying the hero’s journey & other formulas for YA adventure books
- planning the re-write for Dragons’ Truth, as a formulaic YA adventure
- planning two additional books, to make Dragons’ Truth part of a trilogy
I already compromised some to get Never Let the Right One Go as potentially-commercial as possible, but for the Dragons’ Truth re-write, I want to go just-about all the way. I’ve purchased Joseph Campbell’s book, I’ve been looking up other resources, and I have plans to formalize the structure, down to a fine grain, of the Dragons’ Truth re-write based on the patterns of commercial fiction, and of YA adventure books in particular. In reality, this will not merely be an edited version of Dragons’ Truth, or a simple re-write, but a completely new work, barely derivative of the original. With any luck, I’ll be able to power through the whole process and have at least the first book (if not two or three) written by the end of this year.
Then, almost undoubtedly, I’ll want to write something completely lacking in plot, conflict, character growth, and antagonists. Something extremely cerebral, deeply layered, and which is not nearly what it appears to be. No idea what that will be, yet, but that seems like the sort of rebound my mind will take. Either that or I’ll go straight into the crime/thriller/action TV miniseries I’ve been planning on writing, since it’ll require me to think formulaically, but will also be a bizarrely-philosophical construction. Have to see how I feel & what I’m thinking by the time I get through the Dragons’ Truth business.
(Yes, to a certain extent, the interactive digital comic I was planning on has disappeared from my schedule. Depending on events out of my control which may occur in the next few weeks, it’ll either reappear in my plans or remain indefinitely postponed.)
Anyway, part of the plan is to absorb and digest the formulaic writing, focus it intensely onto the Dragons’ Truth re-write, and then move beyond it, pushing it out of my conscious mind. I expect the process to be painful. I never want to be the sort of author who consciously constructs their prose based on things like “what will sell” and “what normal readers expect”, and for this upcoming project, that is (in a way) precisely what I plan on doing. My intent is not in alignment with the apparent goals of such a process, which helps, and challenging even my own norms and ideals seems worthwhile if I can learn something from it, just as I tend to hope to do when challenging any other set of norms and ideals.
Ah, well, now it’s time to go record another video for Never Let the Right One Go, or something. Wish me luck!