Lotus Eating

Last night I dreamt of a (deep breath) new project, and it was so glorious and vivid that it was humming in my mind this morning when I was trying to write one of my current project.

Kiwiana Charlatan Brain, remember that?

Oh but Whiti! This new project is so new and shiny and not filled with the problems of Kiwiana Charlatan! There are no complications to solve, no characters arcs; just a couple of beautiful images that I’m sure will carry an hour on stage…

Promises, promises Brain. You said that last time.

So I’ve written up the most vivid images on my whiteboard and I’m trying to tuck it away until I have time to attend to it.

After my draft of Kiwiana Charlatan.

And after my draft of The Graphologist’s Apprentice.

I wonder if this is the sort of mind trick that other writers suffer. It is very tempting to leave off the hard stuff and to write what “the Muse” commands. (Not a big fan of the Muse, always buggers off when the real work starts and makes one put too much stock in the ideas that surface from the [insert your vice here] second glass of scotch)

Actually, I think it is an affliction that strikes any sort of creative endeavour – I have stock piles of fabric and I am a diagnosed sufferer of second sock syndrome

But what is it? The point at which any johnny come lately idea suddenly seems more appealing than the idea you have been working on? For me it is the appeal of the potential of a thing. The fabric in my stockpile has an active life in my mind, becoming several different garments before it is actually cut. Oftentimes when the creative urge comes over me, it is enough to get the material out and imagine what it could be to satisfy me. Of course this lack of decision does mean I have “nothing” to wear.

Potential, potential. The romantic dreaming phase where anything and everything is possible. I get the itch when I begin to nail things down, finalise the story, give it some shape. When it is what it is instead of what it could be.

So to my dream. It is an old fashioned quest but in a modern setting. It is Labyrinth meets The Mighty Boosh. It has a cast of thousands, musicians and it will be a live stage spectacular!

So basically it will never be staged, but secretly I don’t care (shh!).

I’m reading The Writer’s Journey at the moment, so maybe I could treat it as an exercise on mythic structure – see how far that sucker can stretch!

Having said all that these ideas that pop up sometimes bear fruit. The initial image for Kiwiana Charlatan came up when I was writing the first draft of The Graphologist’s Apprentice two years ago and look where it is today!

On second thought, maybe look in on it in a couple of weeks months…


Filed under Kiwiana Charlatan, Musings, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Lotus Eating

  1. Why not write as much as you can on the new project while it’s fresh and your brain doesn’t have a chance to self censor?

    I came up with a flash of an idea on my long flight over here and have just finished a complete treatment of it in the space of month. I know I’ve got at least two other projects to deal with, but the sense of urgency and freshness has kind of helped boost my confidence in going back to the older pieces …

  2. Ahem … I should mention that my devils horns were on full snake mode then … in case you’re wondering …

  3. Whiti

    Must I spray you with holy water again! So tempting to write this idea (and this is only on of the ideas floating around, I guess it’s the strongest). Maybe I should see what the Young and Hungry theme is this year and try to jam it into that. Can’t be all bad if I get paid for it!!
    I guess I should be grateful for any ideas – a couple of months ago I thought I wouldn’t have anymore…

  4. Good luck with the new idea. But I guess you wnat to think about whether you want to have three nearly finished things or one finished things and some other projects…

    I know what you mean about the shining potential of it all. Before you’ve written it, it’s perfect. While you’re writing it, it has way too many flaws. Some of them seem unfixable. I’m going through that with my novel at the mo. So much nicer to dream about something new…

  5. ed

    One of the things about writing the comic diary is I look back at it and think – oh I was working on those projects back then (eg ‘bear’ or ‘the wooden knight’) and there in the diary it says ‘nearly finished first draft today’ – and I look at it now and go I haven’t written a word on that since! – and then I look at it now – and it is ‘shining’ and exciting compared to what I am doing now (but what I supposed to do is my taxes at the moment so Everything is nice and ‘shiny’). And I do feel I should go back and work on them – but will I ever? – So I would say beware.

    More to the point I would say I find a new idea is ‘Play’ (and as Rachael King states undefined & good) whereas once in you’re in it more often than not it becomes ‘Work’ (hence flawed and hard) – and perhaps the trick is to find more Play within the Work.

  6. Oh this made me laugh. That happens to me ALL the time. DON’T give in to it! I spent too many years with bits of things started and never completed and have just learnt to tame that beast!

  7. Whiti

    I am continuing on with Kiwiana Charlatan. The strange thing is now I have my other idea it seems to have given the sparkle back to writing my old idea. A little something to fantasise about – perhaps it is like a stash of Playboys in the den.
    KC – What are you doing in there dear?
    W – (Muffled sounds of joy) Just research my dear, just research…

  8. Pingback: November round up - part 2 « Tauken

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