On Novel Writing IV
It’s 10:30pm, and I just finished composing a near seven-page passage for my book. In an odd sense of moving forward while not moving forward, I was struck by inspiration this evening and composed the second of the three scenes I’d intended to go back and insert into the story rather than continue on the last page where I’d left off. But I’m very pleased with the lengthy passage I wrote tonight. It’s still not the most affecting scene in the story that I’ve written so far, I think, but it’s close, and that proximity alone pleases me. Now, I haven’t re-read what I just wrote, and while every creator is his own worst critic, every writer is also his most biased supporter. So naturally, in the afterglow of creation, I imagine my work as approaching brilliance. Of course, I’m also probably mistaken, just hopefully minimally so.
Since I’m writing predominantly female characters and devoting a lot of time to personal philosophy and motivation, I hope I’m being accurate and natural to the characters. I’m very anxious over my fears that Naomi, at least, will read this draft and tell me, “Damn, John, you don’t get women at all!” However, author Stephenie Meyer is female and has been widely criticized for writing a female character that’s entirely unbelievable, so if I don’t get it right, I’ll take consolation in the fact that even a wildly successful female author of young adult fiction may not compose entirely realistic female characters either. Furthermore, I still don’t know if this book I’m writing is actually “young adult” fiction or not, but considering that it’s absolutely not William Gibson yet is set in a futuristic Japan and features magic, robots, superhuman battles, and, well, shouldn’t spoil the surprise by revealing too much, I suppose “young adult” may be an appropriate categorization.
Although I’m not aiming to become a professional novelist, at the very least I do hope that this book is developing as well as I think it is. I just don’t want to churn out crap. (I’m not making a comparison here between my own writing and Twilight or any other specific writer’s work.) I’m entirely okay with producing a novel that draws inspiration from the anime and manga that I love, so long as I don’t unconsciously plagiarize anything. I just desperately hope that I’m now about 85 to 90% of the way through the first draft of a book that geeks like me will enjoy and, if I may be so boldly honest, respect.