A lot has happened in the past week. Halloween, one of my favorite holidays, (although not necessarily for the reasons one might think) was on Sunday. The mid-term elections happened on Tuesday (bleh). Then today, something that impacted me most directly, I broke 100,000 words in The Brothers.
I should be clear, this is not where I expected to go at all. In fact, the story has ended up dealing with some issues that people really don't like to talk about, and of course, the way people deal with them. It's about difference, growing up, feeling the pressures that breed in social circles, and balancing the obligations that come within one's station in life. It explores the differences between primary and secondary socialization - that is, how a person first learns to be in the world, and then a totally new way of interacting in the world and all the troubles that come with it.
I feel more comfortable with this story because it is more fantastic, and I really enjoy delving into worlds that can be, rather than the one that so painfully is. It's a tangible method of escapism.
My dad once told me the best thing to be able to do is to sing a song, so you can really feel it. One better is to play and sing. But the best thing is to be able to play and sing the song you wrote. Writing this book has been more like an act of reading it as it is being written. I feel like I am entirely immersed in the story. It is actually happening to me as I write it. I ask myself questions like, what will happen to this character? How can this issue possibly get resolved? Should I kill this guy off? Then I wake up in the middle of the night, eyes flap open, and I know what will happen and I have to type it out right then.
Phoenix Rising is very much about the world that is, what is mundane and painful, joyful and humorous. It documents what really happens to people struggling between two competing conceptions of what it means to be a young American. I've gotten to the point where I need to finish The Brothers (which I hope to do this weekend) before I can go back to Phoenix Rising. It seems The Brothers could become a series, or a collection of separate stories within the same world. I'm not sure yet. As it is, 100,000 words has taken up 2.25 months in the story. The editing process will no doubt pare it down, but holy crap! I was hoping to make it through another 7 months. I just don't know if that will happen. But then again, books like Pride and Prejudice focus on certain periods of excitement for a group of chapters and then gloss over the boring periods of the characters' lives. Because really, who cares if your roast ham didn't turn out so well or the pigs had gotten into the garden? I'd rather read a sexy scene between Lizzy and Darcy! Thus, it is entirely possible to speed things up so to speak... or it could end up being several books like The Mortal Instruments trilogy. Right now, I just don't know. Christian admonishes me telling me I should round it out and plan the end. I disagree. I feel the story will come to a natural end on its own, as many good stories do. The ideas are there, I just need to commit them to an Open Office document.
Well, I've been remiss in keeping you up to date in my wild thoughts and random happenings mostly because my life for the past week has consisted almost entirely of writing this book. I sincerely promise to be better but I don't think I can make any guarantees. The upshot is I get to learn things about the Gaulish calendar, Germanic gods, and the stats of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed. You might ask yourself, what do all these things have in common? I can give you a two word answer - The Brothers.