Sunday, December 30, 2018

I've taken a big step! And 'interesting' stuff

Today, while walking with my wife, I told her I wanted to publish a book in 2019. I wanted the same thing in 2018 and also 2017, 2016 and maybe even 2015 but this is the first time I have told anyone.

The admission or goal came out as we studied some interesting driving near our home in Penetanguishene. I suppose there is a metaphor or parable about taking a different path I could offer here but it seems to obvious and less fitting than it appears.

There is a private road paralleling the main one. It is a private road servicing some condos. At the far end and in the middle, out of sight, are two entrances to the street. The private road at this end just carries on beyond the condos for no obvious reason. It sure looks like there should be a connection to the street, but there isn't. I guess the angled curb meant it was easy to make that connection to someone apparently in a hurry.

On with my story. Searching for an ironic euphemism, I called the driving 'interesting' while I was wondering it 'impaired' or 'stupid' were better. I took some pictures and my wife told me I always took pictures of interesting things.

At this point I told her I wanted to publish a book next year. She was appropriately appreciative and admiring.

Then I tried to explain my train of thought. In the writing I had done already, I wrote most slowly, most painfully, the parts of getting from A to B. But when writing the interesting parts, my fingers flew over the keyboard and I think I even made fewer mistakes even while writing faster. So I needed to find and make more interesting parts of my currently unfinished stories so I could write them faster.

Oh, she was and is still supportive. I realize the previous two paragraphs sound like the setup for a joke. "She was admiring, I explained myself, now she is divorcing". No, I just wanted to write about writing interesting stuff. And describe my excitement for next year.


Alright, exciting stuff. Last year, I read one and a half books of Butcher's Furies of Calderon series. Everything in this story is exciting. The action jumps from scene to scene without let up. So much stuff happens. And I didn't exactly become bored by the action but did want more detailed world building laid out in a more relaxed manner so I could admire it rather than grasp at hints in the furious action. I liked it but couldn't finish - I felt too tired by it.  I do want to return to it as it had a lot of what I like in my fiction. Maybe I just need to rest up before diving in.

In 2018 and also maybe in 2017, I started to read City Stained Red by Sam Sykes. The story is different in feel than Butcher's but shares the same reckless, headlong action. I thought I liked such things. I definitely admire Sykes' ability to smoothly insert back story into the action.  There were no flashbacks or "as you remember, ...." which are too obviously meant for the reader to catch up with. Instead, with believable banter and dialog, the back story is fit into the action. Again, I do admire this and Sykes' book is probably the best book I couldn't finish. Much better than many books I could and did finish.

I don't know. Those two books - or a series and a book - were somehow 'too' interesting for me. How can I describe the story I want to write: Interesting and exciting but also with 'educational' parts? Parts where I show off my world building? I guess I want something like Niven's Ringworld where the location itself is a character. Or Hillerman's police procedurals set in Navajo territories where again the landscape and culture figure so strongly in the stories.

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