My recent writing schedule has involved creating new content on the weekends and editing/polishing older stories for possible submission to agents or self-publication on weeknights. Lately I have been storing up a series of new blog posts so I can continue to post regularly during November when I will be devoting all my writing time to my NaNoWriMo novel. You would think that would keep me busy enough to stay out of trouble.
You would be wrong!
A couple of Saturdays ago, I didn't feel like writing blog posts. I wanted to write original fiction, but I didn't want to cheat and start writing Merlin's Daughters before November 1. [I may be obsessive about writing, but I'm not a cheater.] I know that if I fiddle around with my outline and character sketches any more, I'll start writing. I'm putting that story out of my mind until November 1.
Instead, I let myself get carried away by my recent blog on the "language of possibility". I started by thinking about the language of possibility as it pertains to writing fantasy, then I started using it in a completely different kind of story. This story is different from anything I've attempted before, and the quality of the voice that as emerged in the narrator is new. It's still my voice, but it's singing in a different key. I like it!
I think this story may be more of a general fiction novel on the subject of what constitutes Reality, testing the boundaries between sanity and insanity, eccentricity and genius, physical and meta-physical, natural and super-natural.
Is talent that falls outside the normal range of human experience or ability "pathological", or is it just another way of experiencing Reality? What if the spectrum of Reality is wider and/or more flexible than we ordinarily believe? What if people could use their senses beyond the range that is ordinarily available? Is all "madness" bad, or could there be a kind of "mad genius" that brings blessings to both the person who experiences it and the people in their world?
What I know so far is that the story is about a small town's "weird old lady" who dies of natural causes, alone in her back yard. The potential buyers of her house find in it an unbelievable treasure trove of art -- and a diary she started in 1943 and maintained regularly until her death. Was Libby Pohlman really insane or was she a genius of unimaginable talents?
I don't know yet. I'm only 9100 words into it .... and if my past record is any indication 9000 of those words are subject to deletion on the first edit.
I know one thing: it is unbelievably exciting to start a new project -- even if I have no time for this right now!