Friday, August 24, 2018

Achivement Unlocked: Fiction Writer!

The biggest regret I've had as a writer, for all of this time, is that I've never been able to compose real narrative fiction.  Screenplays for film projects?  Those have been no problem to sit down and churn out.  But for something even so rudimentary as a short story?

That has eluded me.  It has been sealed away behind a concrete wall and I've been pounding away at it for decades, trying to grasp that arrow to place in my quiver.  And the wall wasn't yielding a centimeter.

Why wasn't it possible?  Nonfiction has never been an issue.  I've always been in my element in regard to exploring ideas and articulating musings upon them.  Fiction however...

I've some thoughts about why that has been.  And it correlates with the bipolar disorder I've had since at least 2000, and with some other matters that only in recent months have come to light.

So maybe that I was able to write my first ever short story two weeks ago is not just a threshold moment in my life, it is a benchmark for an even greater progress.  For how far I have come in the two years since I packed up the car and headed out into America with my dog.  But especially for the better part of this past year.  And there have been some remarkable people who have helped me along, to get to this place I hadn't thought possible.  And I'm hoping sooner than later that can be a tale to be shared.

A few friends have read the first short story.  Two of them said that the ending of it brought them to tears.  Some have suggested that I've been writing fiction all along and had never told anyone.  As if!

In the past few weeks I've begun writing a second short story.  And a one-act play.  And have had ideas for other works of fiction.  No, not a novel.  Not yet.  Let's take small steps toward the bigger stuff.  But they are coming.  And then I'll have to figure out what to do with them.  The play is something that would be neat to see produced on stage.  The notion of making a short film of it has crossed my mind but this... seems more suited for a live performance.  Or maybe I'll make the film after its stage debut.

So anyhoo, that is why I've been a bit slack in blogging lately.  The wall has been toppled and the arrow seized, and I've been spending time getting a feel for it.  Like a fledgling taking first flight.  And time will tell how far I can fly with this.  I'm praying that it might be very far, indeed.

Incidentally, for those wondering: neither the finished story nor the pieces in the works are in the genres of science-fiction or fantasy.  So far these are entirely within the scope of our real world.  And I don't know if I ever will try science-fiction.  Good sci-fi is a tough genre to write.  And the ones I would most be inspired by are the masters like Robert A. Heinlein and Philip Jose Farmer.  Writers who used their work to delve into ideas, and not project ideology.  Too much of the science-fiction in recent decades has been driven by agendas... and that's not my style.  But to use science-fiction as a vehicle for conveying ideas and concepts of the human condition?  That would be not just another arrow, but a silver one.

So if there are periods during which I seem absent or negligent about The Knight Shift: take heart!  I am merely exploring a new area of my abilities, and I'm looking forward to sharing those also in the fullness of time.

Until then, I will share one piece of new fiction with all two of my faithful readers!  And yes it is a work of fantasy and not only that but it's a Star Wars short story!  I doubt that Lucasfilm will be adding it to the official body of lore however.  But do consider this to be my small and humble attempt to bridge the gap between the Expanded Universe fans and the adherents of the new canon.  Because as the song says, "Why can't we be friends?"

Here it is.  A teaser of what's to come.  Or perhaps a grim harbinger.  Click to embiggen and enjoy(?)...


3 comments:

Aaron said...

Any plans to publish? And what's your favorite Farmer novel?

Chris Knight said...

I was a high school junior when I read To Your Scattered Bodies Go. It had been a few months earlier that I first heard of Farmer and his Riverworld series. It immediately sucked me in. I mean, a novel starring EVERYBODY who ever lived is a bold, bold endeavor. Since then I've also read Dayworld, some of his World of Tiers, Venus On The Half Shell (which some believed had been secretly written by Kurt Vonnegut), a few others.

As for how my own work might get published... no idea. It'll probably end up collecting dust and moths in a plastic tote somewhere, unseen by human eyes until long after I'm gone. Maybe then it will get published and I'll be posthumously hailed as a literary genius.

Or laughed at as a third-rate hack :-P

Glen Watson said...

I recently finished my fifth novel, "Million Dollar Sandlot," which is so short I didn't know if it was possible to make a hardcopy book. I keep thinking I need more pages in my books, but I just can't make an entire page of a character crossing a street. The book is on Amazon, but I'm used to not selling many books.