So, I’ve found it hard to write lately – you may have noticed. Part of the problem is that I’ve been writing so much. I’ve finally discovered a meaningful, motivating, and sustainable approach to writing fiction.
I haven’t wanted to mention it in case talking about it undermined my motivation. But I’m nearly 28,000 words into the first draft, and more importantly, I have a plot!
I’m aiming for 40,000 which should qualify it as a short novel. It’s in the children’s fantasy genre, and I hope to have the first draft finished in the coming month.
I wrote here some time ago of my struggles with fiction. I’ve found non-fiction comparatively easy, but fiction challenged me. I wrote a children’s novel about eight years ago, but there was something fundamentally wrong with it, and I’d since struggled to find the inspiration to have another try at it.
Having found an approach that inspires me, it seems I may have lost my inspiration for non-fiction writing. I think it has something to do with the sense of efficacy.
In the past, fiction seemed nice but pointless. Non-fiction was more meaningful because it dealt with real issues in the real world. But now I see that fiction is, or can be, more meaningful because it frees real issues from real-world constraints. It lets us focus on an issue or a theme in a way that would be a distortion of the real world, but which makes sense in the creative domain.
I touched on this in previous posts on the limits of non-fiction, and the paradox of fiction. So I had some sense of what the answer must be, but had not yet truly arrived at it.Unfortunately, now that I’ve arrived at it, non-fiction seems uninteresting and ineffectual by comparison. It isn’t, of course, but I’ve got a word count to meet over in my other world, so further reflection will have to wait.