Tortured Artist?

I’ve always had a vague idea that one writes about the sorts of things that are absent in one’s life. I’ve always had a tendency to write dark, serious and complicated stories. My life has been pretty good and I’ve been fascinated by the lives of my characters when they’re going wrong or falling apart.

Since the beginning of college I’ve had the happiest, most socially busy times of my life, and during that time I’ve had two major projects. A story about a loner who has to endure many hardships to fulfill some great destiny, and a story with a lot of war and death and cultural tensions. Even though I’ve thought that I wanted to make them more upbeat at times, it just hasn’t worked that way.

So here I am negotiating a divorce and, what opportune timing, The Elves of LleuGarnock is ending and its sequel will soon begin. I am suddenly all over the romantic comedy aspect of the story, laughing at the cute and goofy hijinks my characters are getting up to.

It almost gives credence to the “tortured artist” model. This is the kind of story I’ve always wanted to write but haven’t been able to. Possibly because I haven’t had this sort of longing to have it in my life.

Perhaps it’s like the examination of negative space. In order to see the shape of something you have to be able to see where it isn’t. Or a case of perspective – stepping back allows you to see something in a more comprehensive way. Whatever it is, not having cute romantic moments in my life has allowed me to see those moments in a new light and given me a desire to recreate them.

This new story still has its moments of drama. I’ve tried to limit them but I’m not very good at keeping it light yet. Besides, there would be a sort of discontinuity if this world and these characters suddenly started being silly at every moment.

I’m not sure about the rest of my life, but I really like the place I’m in creatively right now. I’m pushing my limits as a writer, not just as an artist, and I’m doing work that I like more than anything I’ve done before. It may not be as profound as my favorite Dragon’s Fall scenes or as beautifully pulled together as my favorite elements of the LleuGarnock plot, but it is fun, and that’s something I have been trying to accomplish for a long time. And something that I hope will have a broader appeal than anything I’ve done before.

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1 Comment »

  1. Sylvia said

    Hmm, I never thought of it that way, I always thought, “write what you know,” and all. But maybe that’s why my favorite romances tend to be written by single women.

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