let’s set the world on fire

I’m writing a short story right now.

That’s it. I’ve decided, for the time being, fuck my novel and fuck Transmagical (jokingly renamed Puer Magi Jared Magicus), I’m writing a short story. I’m returning to a world about which I’ve written before, and about a character who was pretty important, but now it’s a focus on eir. Remember, I don’t have any original characters who use ey/em/eir pronouns. I’m being ambiguous.

I think almost every writer hits a point in every novel they write where their characters feel trite and unlikable. Where their narration grows stale and stupid, the plot falls flat, and the description of their mother’s dying plant on the windowsill (bonus points for the reference) is more interesting than the protagonist’s struggle. And then the antagonist turns into Jim Moriarty à la BBC’s Sherlock but with River Song hair and the whole thing becomes a musical. At this point, the writer in question finds that the best option is to scrap the whole damn thing, even if it meant the waste of a perfectly good red Moleskine. Don’t worry. That part is totally normal.

I’ve been (re)reading a lot of Neil Gaiman’s writing lately. He is my favorite author of all time. His novel American Gods is one of my two favorite books of all time (the other is Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World). Out of all of the many novels and authors I have read in my short 15 and a half years of existence (including Edgar Allen Poe, Cory Doctorow, H.P. Lovecraft, George Orwell, and J.K. Rowling), Gaiman has most influenced my writing. Since my Kindle (lovely, first generation Kindle) recently experienced some trauma that lead to its screen being a mass of e-ink nothingness, I grabbed Fragile Things from the library and spent an afternoon reading some short stories. Thus, I was inspired to write some short stories. Though Gaiman wrote, “Normally I write short stories because someone has asked me to write a short story…” (Gaiman xvii), I almost always write short stories because I find them pleasing to write (the citation, by the way, is due to the research paper I recently wrote for English class, wherein I meticulously used MLA formatting). Short stories are the one night stands to a novel’s committed relationship: no strings attached, no arguments, and if they have a child then it isn’t your problem. To avoid the part where that analogy was probably taken from somebody much smarter than me, it’s true and untrue in equal parts.
Mainly because, for me, short stories tend to be homewreckers. They also tend to be strangely serial; especially this one, which is a direct prequel to another short story I wrote once.

Do you remember what I said a few paragraphs ago? About writers and novels? That was completely bullshitted because that is exactly how I feel at the moment. I haven’t blogged in something like eleven days because I am fairly ill at the moment. The cold that has been going around, which I happened to catch, is fairly nasty. I’m also stuck in a bout of depression that won’t let up.

So I’m writing a short story, watching anime, and playing World of Warcraft. Three good distractions.

-Jimmy

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