Climbing out of the doldrums

Despite what the title of this post suggests, I’ve been rather productive this year. Right now I’m writing a sequel to Saudade, the story published in FIYAH fall 2018. I’ll be the first person to tell you sequels are usually unnecessary, but as a writer, it’s sometimes easier to dive back into a world you know than one you don’t. The characters can grow, usually for the better but sometimes for worse. I can pick up on threads I touched on in the original novelette, but didn’t take time to flesh out. And maybe I just want to write something for the hell of it, a story I can enjoy. That’s good enough reason for me.

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See? I’m being productive.

I come back to this idea that stories don’t have to ascribe to classical narrative ideals to be good. As far as I understand, many of our traditions come from ancient Greco-Roman writers like Plato and Homer. And maybe they saw themselves as observing and measuring narrative traditions that already existed. Well, I’ve experienced a lot of media that I didn’t enjoy, but these projects somehow manage to become green-lit because some investor thought they’d make money from it. Much of that practice is based in established producers relying on brand recognition, but there’s also the fact that there’s great audience diversity in the world, and marketers have to hone in on their targets. I think Sword Art Online is lame, but who cares what I think? They make money from Blu-Rays, games and toys.

I think there’s also a little radar inside of people that sniffs out when work is cohesive and well-considered, even if there isn’t a fantastic product in the end. I’m going to focus on this aspect of writing. I’m not famous by any stretch of the imagination. I’ll worry about marketing and audiences and the like once I produce work that I love.