In Which the Author Finds His Way

I’ve been stressing for weeks over Things Fall Apart, the first book of The Remembrance War.  And I can’t seem to move forward on it.  This lead to all sorts of Impostor Syndrome, and I felt just completely paralyzed with fear that I’m a fraud, that despite getting accepted to VP, there is NO WAY IN HELL I will ever publish a single story.

And then I realized something.  Well, two things.  First, I realized that I might be shooting myself in the face by trying to write TRW as a first-person narrative, especially considering the planned fate of the main character.  But I really don’t want to start drastically re-working that story before I go to VP and get it savaged critiqued by my fellow students and the pro writers and editors we’ll be learning from.  So I set it aside.  If this book ever gets published, it will be a triumph, considering the roadblocks it’s dealt with: not one but TWO file and backup failures, a massive rewrite, and this paralysis.

And lo and behold, once I made that decision and set TFA/TRW aside, the story ideas began floating into my brain again, triggered by everything from an NPR story on the way we respond to crisis to a blip in my memory that annoyed me to an idea Donald Maas asked for years ago and, near as I can tell, nobody’s done.  I’ve got a time-travel crime procedural that may have become a plan for a series of linked short stories about the same protagonist’s adventures in time, a dystopian revolution story that explores the idea of government control and how far is too far for a government to go to safeguard its people, a story about a little girl with an old mind, and several more.

I use Scrivener to write.  I’ve now begun a new Scrivener project in which I quickly write down story ideas whenever they come to me.  When I’m ready to work on one, I’ll spin it into its own Scrivener file.  I now have seven different ideas with some level of flesh on them to later spin out into a tale, and more are appearing every day.

I’m back.

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About Michael Johnston

Father of a third grader, high school English teacher, writer. Forty-three years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA
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