First thing’s first, let me thank you all for checking out the Fight Club Write Club, where I recently had my first duel against Lucida. I ended up winning 11 votes to 4, which was the boost I needed as I try and sit here working on Critical.
It’s 110k words deep and I’m building up to the climax. The Big Climax. And I’m looking back at the two years I’ve had this document in existence, and I’m having second, third, and fourth thoughts about it as a literary work. My first two projects in no way are going to be deemed as literary works of art, or possibly even good, but Juniper Crescent and Hallow Terrace have taught me my voice, have taught me my writing style, and taught me how to be true to both.
Now it’s going to be put to the test. I’ve already invested too much to set it aside, to relegate it to the slush-pile of a hobby, or to not see it through to the end.
But, as all writers know, fiction will always be harder than non-fiction.
Why? Allow me to cite an example. I have a friend who in her kindness had bought a copy of Juniper Crescent, then bought another to give as a gift to her mother. The mother, a nurse by profession, got past the first few pages and refused to pick it up again.
My medical jargon wasn’t 100% accurate. She refused to read it, and even worse, refused to give any feedback on internet sources. Even bad reviews are reviews, and internet attention is ALWAYS good. Ask any other author and reviews become more important to them than sleep, their favorite drink, and even sanity. She wouldn’t do a thing because I wasn’t a hundred percent on target with how I had written it.
I’ve had the opportunity to go back and change the jargon to make it more accurate, but this shows the one example that writers everywhere run into:
Fiction has to be more believable than non-fiction.
And that sucks, because it kills a lot of good ideas. We as readers, movie-watchers, theatre-viewers, and story-hearers want to spend so much more time dissecting a world that isn’t our own. In that regard, it sounds a lot like what science wants to do every time it discovers a new species. Or what they have plans to do should we discover extraterrestrial life.
Nevertheless, we write, because we believe in the idea and like that world better than our own. Lucky for me, I have someone at my side who can help me keep Critical where it needs to be. It’s her fault I’m writing it, though it has morphed into the story I’ve wanted to hear for a long time coming.
Megan loves radioactive things. She knows about nuts that have natural radioactivity, the array of products we’ve invented when we were infatuated with radioactive culture, and spends time telling me about Bionerd23, who has probably shortened her life by decades to bring us historical information and scientific studies in the realm of radioactivity.
If I were left to my own devices, I probably would have written a very different story. It probably would have been one of those ideas that got killed really quickly once someone started taking it apart. But, now I’ve got to understand nuclear technology well enough to invent stuff therein.
I don’t like science. I never succeeded in those classes in school/college.
But I have to know in order to write. I also have needed to find out about the 50’s social expectations, slang, Sputnik, car design, science fiction, The Twilight Zone, Doctor Who (yes, I have managed to find a way to sneak that in there), The Lord of the Rings, the Civil Rights movement, World War 2, the Saturn V rocket, The Cold War, the Anti-Communist boards, the Red Scare, Chinese history, Chairman Mao Zedong, medical practices of the 1950’s (Medical jargon? Again? Freakin’ again?), and various cancers.
Then I get to sit and write.
My hopes in this post is that even if it’s a book you pick up from some indie author, or something someone’s given you to read/ review, take a moment to appreciate that if they are doing their craft well, there is a ton that they have had to do that will never reach