Realistically I’ll write one book this year (historical evidence suggests it will be finished in the Spring, edited in the Summer/Fall, and then Winter will be a black hole of holidays and burnout). But HOPEFULLY I will write two, because I am exceedingly torn between two concepts this year and I would dearly like to be able to pursue both.
I can’t decide which is the better use of my 2016 writing time, so at the moment I’m brainstorming both:
- A semi-lighthearted adventure about a young woman accidentally(?) trapped in the forest where people search for lost things; complete with shadow monsters, reanimated taxidermy, and a whole lot of grief, denial, and coping mechanisms for depression. This one is certainly the most serious thing I’ve attempted, though not without comic relief.
- A western-inspired fantasy in which a grizzled lawman has arrived to wrangle a recalcitrant frontier town into compliance with its new government, but has to contend with several generations of antagonistic locals, homesteaders, and native sentient species. This one might very well involve a showdown between cowboys and anarchist mermaids, among other fiascos.
I mean, on the one hand: subject matter that will probably have me crying cathartically over my keyboard like a ninny. On the other hand: mermaids versus cowboys.
Both require additional research and outlining, so there isn’t much of a variance in the workload. The forest of lost things is a little further ahead in the outlining stage, so there is that. But “The Law Comes to Lochlee” has a title, which ain’t nothing.
The problem is that I am constantly whiffle-batting between the two styles of book I like to read: the weird, beautiful little tomes of experimental fantasy that say a lot about people; versus the more traditionally structured (but still weird) explosion-filled adventure epics.
They are both irresistible! But are they mutually exclusive? Can I forge a path somewhere in between? I do try. The book about depression will certainly have battles with monsters and a maelstrom of a climax. The cowboy book won’t lack philosophizing. I don’t think one is inherently better quality than the other, and they both have their audiences. The question is which one do I want to live in for the next few months.
I am probably the only person interested in these writing goal posts, but if I’m not: stay tuned!