I think maybe writing is so important to me because of my age. As I get older, I get fatalistic. I mean, things can go haywire at any moment and I know this.
For some reason writing is way of asserting my existence. Last night I realized that writing is more important than just about anything to me right now except family. I just will do anything to keep on writing my books.
The goal is to just keep trying to write the "good" book.
Each book I write is an attempt to do that. I plan on continuing to try to do that.
Am I saying I haven't written a "good" book? Am I asking people to read "bad" books?
My definition of the "good" book, I guess, is really the "great" book, the one that everyone talks about, that people pass on to others, that people re-read fondly, that remains present and is still talked about long after publication.
I just find it hard to use the terminology of "great" because I think it will jinx me.
I believe I've written entertaining and interesting books that are well written. They're all "good" in that sense.
I seem to get better in parts, and so every book is a mix of improved and learning and still not great. But if I can assemble all the parts into one book, and I'm on a roll, and it's a great idea--the "good" book is possible.
I'm convinced I have the skill and the talent--but not easily. It's not something that will happen without a great deal of trial and error.
So I'll just keep trying even knowing that the "good" book might not get noticed.
But I think I'll know it when I've achieved it.
So far, I've come close a couple of times. I do believe that with a little "professional" help I could get there more easily, but I don't think that help is ever going to happen, at least until I've already achieved it.
In almost every book there comes the moment when I realize I'm not quite there. Often I'll write a really good scene or chapter and think, "Every scene and chapter should be this good."
With Fairy Punk, I've taken every chapter as a distinct unit. Tried to write something really good, or surprising, or different. Attempting to make each of the parts good in hopes that the whole will be good. At the same time, I loosened up, let myself write longer, more meandering scenes that explicate the characters or background.
It's a combination of the plotting, the characters, the premise, and the writing. All of them are pretty instinctive with me, and I refuse to follow any formula, so it's always going to be hit and miss, I think. If I keep giving myself permission to try new things, let myself go, I think I'll eventually get there.
Each book is a new attempt...
I probably come across as both supremely egotistical and under-confident. I think that's the writer's lot in life.
The one area where I think I can improve is the writing. I can improve that by re-writing. I can do that by taking the time to do it. I just need to sit down after every book and give it another pass through or two, concentrating on the writing itself.
I've mentioned that most people never comment on the "writing" per se. They usually criticize the premise and or the story. But the premise and the story can only be realized by good writing.
I think that's why I keep getting the "surprisingly good" comments, because the writing is better than they expect considering the premise. Which is why I'm kind of moving to broader subjects, such as epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and so on.
The reception really is pretty much out of my control, I think. There are a whole lot of books out there and no incentive really to read MY books. I'm not sure, actually, that even writing the Great book will overcome that.
But, like I said, I think I'll know it.
5 days ago