Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Donut Hole

For those of you who don't know, and seeing as many of the phrases that I use commonly seem to not be known by other people (my brother didn't know what it mean to "dot your i's and cross your t's"! Zuh!), the donut hole is simply a general term for a missing center, since all donuts have a hole in the center (although I think they're supposed to be that way due to the baking process).

So on this vacation, one of my goals has been to up my writingness to at least 2 pg.s daily, and maybe up to 3 (this is actually a pretty hard goal and will require a lot of time scrounging). Most importantly, one of my goals has been to write at least 1 pg. of creative fiction a day. Because of this goal I find I have been forcing myself to be rather creative, and I must say my mind is abuzz with story ideas except...

Well, there are a couple excepts here, but writing is always difficult. Yet let me underline one except that is particularly bugging me right now. During my time in India I was playing with a concept of a certain type of magical creature and its interaction with humans. It wasn't fully a setting per-say but rather it was an idea, what about a conflict between two completely separate species of intelligent creatures, and the two types could only barely understand each other superficially, but perhaps in deeper terms understood each other in ways that all those having intelligence and emotions (although I could have made them creatures without emotions, but I decided not to) tend to. Moreover, I decided to play a game with the idea that the other species felt closer to nature than humans. It was a pretty neat idea, certainly not revolutionary, but it helped prompt a story.

Oddly enough, although I had several other story ideas, I found this one was perhaps the easiest to write, despite being fairly new to my mind. And so I find myself with several pages of it already written with only the final climax and then the resolution left and it all seems to be coming together and yet... and yet there's a donut hole.

The story feels like its missing something. This might be because the story is sad and I'm a guy who likes happy endings, but I also feel it's missing some essential quality that all stories, even sad stories should have. I feel like its missing a need to be read. As it stands if I completed the story chances are it would be pretty good. And if this same story was in a short story book I would probably read it. Yet chances are I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. It's unlikely the story would stick with me in a heavy sort of way, maybe just in the back of my mind. The story seems good, yet it's not that the story simply isn't great, it doesn't even really have a spark of greatness. I suppose all good things and all things that have within them concentrated effort have some primordial spark of greatness, but let's put all that aside and admit that some works are great and some works are not. But even some works that aren't great have flashes of greatness in their plot, in their setting, in their characters, or maybe just in some odd detail or other. But I see none of that in here really, and I'm not sure why.

Perhaps though that's okay. Maybe it's alright to write a good story that's fun (even if it is sad, there's a certain fun to reading that's inevitable, usually, well then again there's books like Night) and interesting to read. Moreover, perhaps because this story does not have that spark of greatness or at least an obvious spark of greatness, it might be easier to write and easier to edit and complete. And while I'm working hard on my masterworks, maybe this story and other stories like it can be sent off to see if they can be published. Maybe. But while I'm okay writing stories like this (at least rationally I'm okay with it, emotionally, well, okay, let me say overall I'm still ambivalent), I wouldn't want to write stories without any sparks of greatness for all of my life (even if the stories were overall bad but had sparks of real genius in them, as the works of Ed Wood are said to).

But the whole matter still leaves me uneasy. Now I'm not just working on that story. Obviously I'm also working on my webpost, I have several other stories in the pipeline, I have several stories I'm editing, I'm preparing a number of new strips of my comic (I might even be able to make it a truly regular affair), and there's a bunch of other stuff that is still in the planning stages, and a lot of all that has those sparks of greatness, but... but still this whole donut hole thing is making me uneasy. I very well could be making a big deal out of nothing or misinterpreting my own feelings (the idea that you can truly and fully know yourself is, in my view at least, wrong), but still it makes me uneasy, and that's actually delayed my finishing of the story. But I've been uneasy before and I've pushed through and I suppose that's what I'll have to do.

I just need to walk on into the uncertain future, not knowing whether triumph or defeat awaits me, even not knowing what triumph and defeat really are in this world of mystery. But still heck, I'm Rand, so I know no matter what happens:

I'M STILL GOING TO BE ROCKING IN THE FREE WORLD (although at some point I might move into an unfree country, no government can take away the freedom granted to me by God and so in God's world I'll be free)!!!!

So take it to your head, take it to your heart and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

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