I’ve take a little break from writing over the last few weeks. Not a break in writing itself, as I have still done a bit, but a break from making myself write. To paraphrase David Mamet, a writers life is 10% achievement and 90% guilt, but for the last few weeks I’ve taken my foot off the guilt pedal and have just been focussing on daily, mundane life things.
Despite this I have done a teeny bit of fiction writing and quite a lot of thinking. After Clarion I threw myself into a fourth attempt at ‘Unmade Man’, a cyberpunk short story I have been toying with for ages. I made a lot of progress with the first half of the story, but the second half is still a mess. In the words of Jim Kelly, I need to murder my darlings and get rid of the germinal idea from which the story sprang. It just doesn’t fit any more.
Following my contribution to the Positivist vs. Gloommonger debate in the science fiction blogosphere, I started work on a positive science fiction story set in near future UK. I’m really passionate about the value of education, and the story looks at what a radicaly different a approach to education could achieve in the world. The heart of teh story though is a woman recoveirng from teh loss of her husband. I have about two thousand words of this untitled story so far, and am going to keep plugging away at it.
I’ve also been advancing the two novel ideas that seem to be competing for me to write them – the dark elf high fantasy, and a contemporary fantasy set around a family of aristocratic chaos mages. Both ideas have matured masively post-Clarion, I’m just not sure which one to attack first.
My official writing goal for this year is three short stories ready to submit to pro-markets, and a solid draft of a novel to take to WorldCon next August. Entirely achievable, and very exciting to consider.
Sneak Preview – I had a day trip to London yesterday to interview Cory Doctorow. The interview should by up on Guardian online next week, assuming I get it written. Cory is a great writer, energetic eletronic freedom campiagner and a Clarion grad. there is some very cool stuff in the interview so drop Wednesday or Thursday to read it.