Friday, 24 June 2011

The Bane of my Existence and my Love

I've been hit with the bane of any writer's existence... Writer's block. Just a day after I had that massive surge in creative ideas from my walk they all vanished. Me being me of course, I forgot to write them down. Now I'm stuck with the desire to write but nothing to actually put words to. I've been sat, staring at paper and a map, hoping desperately that something will come to me and I'll be able to write. At least that's how I spent most of yesterday and part of today. It's annoying me, and as a result, making me crabby and irritable. I'm snapping at my mum and sister despite knowing that it's not their fault.
I've got this desperate urge to write, to create a story, but I just can't. I can feel these half-formed ideas floating round my head; freeze-frames of a scene, names of characters, parts of a plot. None of them are staying around for very long though, certainly not long enough for me to jot them down and most definately disappearing as soon as they begin to form into bigger ideas and full plots.
I don't know if writer's block is that way for everyone. I've got the drive, hell I've got a setting. I just don't have anything to write about. Maybe I'm being over-ambitious, wanting to write a story that spans a whole world. Maybe instead I should concentrate on a single country in that world I created and write something set there, possibly one of their historical events. As I write this I'm getting a couple of ideas but nothing that can form an entire novel. It's doing my head in.
In desperation I've turned to some old classics, novels that in the past have sparked 101 ideas as I've read them. I'm not talking about Lord of the Rings, the kind of background Tolkien did, while amazing, is just not something I'm ready for at my level of writing. I'm talking about Terry Brooks and his Shannara series. I had to spend a sweaty 30 minutes rooting around the back of the attic searching for them before my mother pointed out that they were in the cooler entrance part of the attic... not happy about that. However I am happy, that with the minimum amount of lifting I have all of Brooks's books that I own spread out on my bed.
It amazes me that, for someone who started writing at 26 in the 1970s, he has over 10 books written, all set within the same world. I have 12 of his novels, I'm missing the last of one trilogy and two other prequel type trilogies, as well as a stand alone novel that bridges a gap. I found out about them yesterday and now all I can think of it 'Want them. Want them!'
I should probably explain why I love Brooks's books so much... but I can't. It may be that if you read them in the order that they were published you can see his skill as a writer growing. The characters become richer, more well-rounded. The world that the series is set in becomes more real, taking shape in my mind. Brooks was the first fantasy novelist that I read (At least the first grown up fantasy novelist that I read.) before I even so much as thought about Lord of the Rings or touched the Hobbit, despite my dad's best attempts. I suppose the fact that he was my first look into the genre that I love writing in may be the reason that I love him so much. We'll see eventually... when I finish all 12 books I own. Who knows, maybe as a graduation present I might get some of the others.
If this reading sparks any ideas you can be sure that this time, I'll be writing them down. Hell I might share some amazing insight with you... yeah right :P

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