"What makes good writing?"
"Does good writing have to be literary?"
"If I don't write literary fiction, does that mean I am not a good writer?"
"Should I even be a writer? Should I even keep trying?"
This is what I asked myself after taking a fiction writing class this past semester. I learned a lot of great things from this class, but I also lost my passion for storytelling as I questioned everything I thought I knew about writing. I didn't want to write. I didn't want to blog.
Weeks passed, and I started to think about maybe trying to blog about something—anything!
And then my friend texted me a crazy idea.
"Want to do Camp NaNoWriMo with me?"
"Okay," I texted back.
So, I am doing Camp. I've been thinking about reinventing some characters, and I decided that Camp NaNoWriMo would be as good a time as any. (For the unaware, NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. There are "Camp" challenges in April and July.)
Some of you may remember Daniel and Varina from my previous blog. I wrote several (horrible, terrible) books about them from 2012-2014. They were spies working for a government agency, having adventures that would have fit well into a Get Smart episode. Daniel, Varina, and their cohorts have been my favorite characters since I created them, but I knew that if I was to go back into their world, I would need to change a lot of things to make them less (pardon the pun) campy.
So, instead of spies, Daniel is a pianist and Varina is a journalist. Instead of searching for Liberace's missing rhinestone, Varina is trying to discover who murdered her father and Daniel is along for the ride. Instead of waiting until the third book to introduce Varina's crazy-wonderful family, they are going to make their debut in this first book. Instead of actually having a semi-decent plot, I am going to make this story character driven and see what happens.
I realized (or, perhaps, re-realized) something as a result of the writing class I took this past semester: my creativity does not thrive when my imagination is limited. In my class, we learned how to write contemporary, literary fiction, which I can appreciate but do not enjoy (an explanation for another post?). I like to write what I like to write, and what I like to write is not literary and it is probably not publish-able either (another explanation for another post?). So, I am a writer, but maybe I am not an author. For Camp NaNoWriMo, I am going to write the story that I want/need to write to get my creativity back. I will see how it goes and report back.