I finally gave up on the book I was reading. The book by the ‘published’ author. The book by the author who has won a major award. I’ve ordered the award book. I need to know that it’s better than the one I just abandoned. Please be better! Please be less confusing and arty. Please be less post-modern and more of a story.
Am I that old-fashioned because I want to be entertained, not confused and intimidated?
I want to write stories that make people feel. Really feel. Happy, joyful and hopeful, sure, but it’s also okay to feel fearful and sad, angry or terrorised by a story. But I don’t want people to feel stupid when they read my stories, because they can’t remember who the characters are, or they don’t understand the obscure literary reference. Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with a challenging read that inspires us to hit up Google every few pages.
Like when I watched Tree of Life. I’m annoyed that people said it was life changing and I am still wondering what the hell happened.
I worry that my writing is opaque. I want to make sense. I want people to be moved because it means something to them.
The hardest part is when the imposter syndrome is real and not just a trick of the ego. If I compare my work to the work of the ‘published’ then I am indeed an imposter and should be taken out and shot. Then again, when I do compare, I can see where my work is coming to resemble the ‘published’. The worry is then that I am being derivative and still, must be taken out and shot.
Someone told me I had too many characters in Hotel Deja vu. I killed off a few of my darlings. They didn’t actually die, it’s not that kind of book, but Percival didn’t make it, the backstories relegated to the website, eventually. I needed people to know that Ingrid’s life had been really tough, even though she was beautiful and had worked at the Moulin Rouge. Percival’s few crucial lines had been given to Peter. Percival’s nasty sister, put aside for another story, her role, simply alluded to.
I am terrified of being seen. I will never be featured in the Weekend section. I hope I don’t sabotage my stories because I don’t seek fame but then I hope I don’t take to wearing a wig backward. I really do want success more than anonymity (Obscure pop reference.)
They don’t have to know, but it just makes the experience all the more richer if they did. But don’t underestimate your audience.
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