Hey guys, it's negative nancy, here with some good news (seriously, where is this positivity coming from?)
For my final year i was meant to be writing a script. I'd heard lots of things from past students on what to do and what not to do, and in the end I had vague aspirations that lead to giving up on my degree and marrying into money. But I trudged on, creating an extremely political scary world with some fairly eccentric characters thrown in. There was just one problem: I hated it. I hated my plot, I hated my characters, and I hated that it felt like there was no one on my team - because no one understood it. So I scrapped it! Now instead I'm writing a piece about age, sexuality, and family secrets...and it's not so daunting.
I always saw original fiction as some strange next level writing - because with FF for me it was just playing. I touched on serious topics like dementia, anxiety, and adultery - but the characters were ready made. I had my own spin on a few, but the challenge was to present them in character. In original fiction, the rules are yours...which should be liberating - but to me it wasn't. I felt like I had to create an exciting new world because so many had already been created, wizarding worlds, Narnia, Gallifrey - and I thought by making it 'normal' I'd be boring. I thought that if my play wasn't challenging then I was writing it wrong. I don't think I'm that creative, most ideas never make it out of my brain and onto paper because I don't have the determination to complete it - and I was trying to defend a world and a setting more than an actual plot. It was like if JKR had created the wizarding world, and just gone: here you go, have fun. Rather than giving us the chosen one, or Voldemort and his death eaters - and all these families that we love, imagine if Rowling had just given us the world. It's still magical and exciting, but it isn't enough. My piece seemed half baked. I was trying so hard to remould it, and make it what other people wanted, until I realised I wasn't enjoying myself anymore. Which naturally meant it wouldn't be my best work. The best thing I ever wrote was a piece called In the Mourning, a short story about Harry and Professor McGonagall, and if Harry had visited his parents grave before the scene in deathly hallows. Or Storge, my one shot about Ariana Dumbledore and her death. The reason I think that they're probably my best, is because I loved them. I planned them out from start to finish, and put so much love and care into them...which is why I like them anyway. With my initial script it was just like, I need to get this done! It was about pleasing others, and not myself.
I think that original fiction is very similar to FF really, and I'm not sure why I had it placed on this metaphoric pedestal for so many years. I don't think I could write a book myself, but from what I've written so far - I had to enjoy what I was writing. I had to be comfortable with my idea. I want it to be entertaining, and insightful. I want to make people laugh, and cry, I want them to be shocked, maybe even uncomfortable - but I want them to feel. Which I think is what every writer wants, original or not.
Maybe my initial experience is completely different to other people's, but this is my first time writing original fiction, and my first time writing a play! Once I liked what I had the words kept flowing...though maybe that was because it was 2am, and now I'm up to 600 words! I know I keep going on about it and you're probably getting sick of it, but this really is a huge milestone for me. Obviously I'm far from done...in fact, I've come up with a list! This is the most basic list, that I'll have to edit as I go along, but I thought you might like to see in case I'm missing something obvious, or if you'd just like to take a gander!
- fully flesh out characters: 1/6
- understand plot
- have a timeline (halfway there)
know the beginning
- know the middle
- know the end
- come up with a title
- create a summary/blurb
- pitch it to other people
- have set/costume/props in mind
anyway, I think I've bored you all to death by now - and I have a scene to finish!