Yesterday Susan asked me, "... if Human is causing you that much agony, why write it? ... you have not been a large fan of vampires ... you technically have little reason to (finish it). Is it the subject of the idea? Is there something about the plot the angers you?"
Great question(s)! Please excuse my ramblings as I attempt to answer it. There is actually a lot here to deconstruct. I'll start with the easiest questions or points.
1. Is there something about the plot the angers you?"
Nope. Actually, the story itself is fairly decent. It's sort of a paranormal version of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid (I realised last night when pondering this question). The proper version, not the Disney version. I quite like the story, actually. It's the packaging I'm having issues with.
2. Is it the subject of the idea?
Um... did you mean subject or idea? Either way, it's the fact that it's a vampire story that bothers me. The idea is a good one... but it's vampires. And this isn't to say that I hate vampire stories or vampires as characters, either. I love some of them (Did I ever tell you my enduring love for Julian, the main vampire dude from the very 90s T.V. show Kindred: The Embraced? I was convinced we were going to be married one day), but I feel the whole genre has been done to death. Everyone and their aunt has written a vampire story. It bothers me that I'm writing a story in a market already saturated with the same damned (Hah! Damned! Get it?) character set.
I worry that the story isn't original. I'm stressed that it's too derivative. I'm annoyed that my brain, despite my being sick to death of vampire stories said, "Hey, you know what I'm thinking of right now? Vampires. Now write, bitch." I hate my brain. My brain is an arsehole.
Mostly, though, it's because vampire stories are far too numerous right now. If I was writing this at a time when vampires were not part of the popular culture, I'd be more pleased by this story, I think. Oh gods... am I... am I a hipster writer?
Anyway, there are too many stories of this genre around. Too. Many. Not all that surprising, considering it is about vampires, it. just. won't. die.
Get it? Because the genre is (a) vampire? Get it? I'm on fire today!
3. If Human is causing you that much agony, why write it?
Gods help me, I don't know. I cannot not write a story once it worms its way into my head. You remember earlier, when I told you my brain is an arsehole? I wasn't lying.
Unless I get a story out onto paper (digital or otherwise), it does lazy laps around my head... or sometimes vigorous laps. It depends on how urgently the protagonist wants their story told. 'Round and 'round the story goes. Over and over it plays in my head, like some demented prison guard who has the same cassette playing all day, continually hitting the repeat button in order to torture the inmates with the strained tunes of the latest pop sensation... and it never, ever stops. Unless I get it out of my mind and onto some other surface. My brain will hold onto a story forever if it has to.
The Great Man series (completed but unpublished as yet), for example, was in my mind since the tender age of fourteen. I graduated university in 2007, and finished the series shortly thereafter. I was twenty-four when I graduated. Ten years. TEN YEARS that story played on repeat in my head.
To make matters worse, I am horribly affected by the stories that float through my head. There is literally a storm of emotions that rage through me. If something sad happens in the story, I get sad. I have been known to burst into tears randomly in public places because that sad section of story keeps making those loops in my mind. Sometimes I get angry, because the imaginary people I made up myself do something infuriatingly stupid, or something terribly unfair happens to them. When my protagonists are happy or pleased (almost never, now that I think about it), so am I.
If you have doubts about how badly I am affected by the stories that my arsehole brain concocts, you should ask the Amazing Flatmate. She was there when I was rewriting The Great Man series. It was not pretty.
Mind you, that story is particularly dark.
If it sounds like I might be insane, all I can say is: Yes. Writing is insanity.
So, if I don't get this story out of my head and onto some sort of platform, I'm stuck with it until I do; even if the story is utter crap. I have a few finished manuscripts that will never see the light of day because they are such utter steaming piles of ... drivel.
And, to state the obvious, my experiences with Skylark aside, writing is almost never very easy. Some days, the words come, and I can go at a good clip. Other days, I stare blankly at the screen with tears of frustration streaming down my face. Human is just one of those stories that doesn't come as easily. I think I know why.
I think that because I am so very tired of vampire stories, and so very resistant to the idea of writing one myself, that I have created an internal tug-of-war. On one team, my arsehole brain and my need to write and the will to get this frakking story out of my head. On the opposing team, my incredible resistance to writing vampire stories in general, and my fear that this story is, by virtue of its subject, utter shite. Fear is a big problem for me, really.
Being incredibly stubborn sort of woman, both teams would be equal but for the fact that I consciously force myself to sit down and write. It's often a struggle for this story, but it's happening regardless.
As much as I find this story difficult and frustrating and infuriating, I simply cannot walk away from it. The trouble with arsehole brains is they go where you go. There is no escape. So I sit every day at my computer and attempt to write. I've been doing that for almost a year.
Some writing days are more successful than others. Still, I hit the 65 000 word mark yesterday. It helps to see progress, and it helps to know that I'm not that far from the end. It makes the writing easier.
So, Susan, I hope I answered your question. I may have just confused you more. I can sum up this entire blog post in a single sentence:
I'm insane and writing is the only socially sanctioned outlet for that insanity.
Or, more simply:
I cannot not write.
Right, now I'm off to try and learn Welsh for a bit before I get down to the work of writing.