Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What would McJesus do?

So, I find myself again at the start of another novel. I say that like I've written quite a few myself. Well, I'm sure as hell no Stephen King, in fact I've only finished one novel draft to date. With two other drafts kind of stuck somewhere in my pile of fiction I've started but probably will never finish. I'm ok with that, I've come to terms with that. I've changed as a writer, even from November last year (when I wrote my first novel).

So, what have I got planned this time around? Well, basically, all I've got at the moment is a bunch of ideas. Think of those ideas as those balls in the lotto machines, flying about in their chaos and confusion, contained in their clear sphere, waiting for the vacuum hose to come up and pick a number. I've got a couple of starting places, which I'm using as a launching pad of sorts for my other ideas. I've got my themes that I want to write about, and I've got my fingers crossed that it comes together well enough. Needless to say, I put a lot more time and effort into planning my novel in November, although I feel like this one has the potential to mean something, as opposed to existing merely as a juvenile form of entertainment.

One thing I've been able to do lately through poetry is tackle issues relevant to my life, to me personally. As a socially insecure individual, I think that having that outlet in my life is simply just wonderful, even if people read it out of context, butcher its grammar, it's still got that meaning to me. The next logical step would be to channel that strong connection from poetry into prose.

To be honest, this prospect is a little frightening to comprehend. It's not another "mankind's selfishness has doomed us all" sort of gothic horror that I have been drawn towards in the past, but a chance to go back to the issues I had in my childhood, and how they trickled on into the more grown-up me. I knew it was never going to be as easy as 'hey, let's go dig up some undead skeletons in my closet and hit them with a shovel a few times!', but essentially, that's what I want to do.

My story will most likely take place in a hyper-commercialised world (thus, the McJesus in the blog title) and starts with an armed robbery. Basically, I just wanted to stir up a shitstorm right from the get-go so I could spend most of the time just exposing and exposing the main character (he's a sort of fictionalised me at this point), and I'll explore what it means to have an identity within such a heavily commodified culture and how that can impact an individual on a psychological level. This is where all my literary and cultural studies at uni will come in handy.

JulNoWriMo is coming up very soon, and I'm probably WAY under-prepared, but I'm excited. It's something I'd write for my ten-year-old self, and I feel like it's very necessary that I go away from genres such as sci-fi and fantasy that are typically seen as forms of 'escapism'. I don't want to escape anything, I want to confront those childhood skeletons and get some much needed closure, which I feel I haven't fully done yet, but, yeah. I need this.

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