I believe that I owe those loyal few who offer their time to read my work something of an explanation for my long absence… and perhaps a glimpse into what I am trying to build.
I’ve always known that I had problems. What creative soul doesn’t? It’s part of what makes us creative, the brokenness in our hearts and minds and souls drive us to look for something else to make us whole again and our search is vitally important to those who simply do not need the search for their own sake, but who would be empty without the results of it.
Simply put, Normal Well-Adjusted Types do not need to fall through the looking glass because they do not have the same drive as someone who struggles with tragedy or eccentricity of the mind. But because we need that Other World, we bring back something which keeps them alive. Without us they would be zombies.
In any event, I always knew that I was broken, I just never quite knew how, or what to do to compensate. I never wanted an excuse. I never wanted to point at something and say “It’s not my fault because I’m…” whatever. I just wanted to know the truth. I wanted to know why I am the way I am, why I have the difficulties that I do, so that I can accurately identify my enemy.
The first rule of warfare is to know your enemy. You can’t fight what you refuse to admit exists, or which you do not know exists. If you are fighting the wrong enemy, then you will lose.
I have Depression. I’ve known that for a long time, but I thought that it had ceased to be a factor years ago. Unfortunately, it blew up in my face again in these past three years to the point that it has very nearly incapacitated me. In point of fact, I was fairly incapacitated several times because of it. When it explodes on me, I can’t write. When I can’t write, I get depressed. It’s a vicious cycle that is incredibly difficult to break.
I have “Attention Difficulties”. I put that in quotes because the doctors hesitate to actually put the words Attention Deficit Disorder to it in my presence, but that’s what it amounts to. My brain is severely choosy about what it wants to keep hold of and what it sloughs away, and what it chooses to ignore is all the stuff that most people would consider important. Additionally, I have an incredibly difficult time actually finishing projects because something new always comes along and distracts me.
I call it “Ferret Syndrome”, or “a busy mind”, but it means that I’ve got a list of unfinished projects as long as my arm and sometimes I’ll have to let something sit for a very long time before I’m able to come back to it.
This is partially what has happened to Castellan Dreams. I had to step away from it for a while because I got stuck. Was Bastion going to be a Knight or a Prince? How was the confrontation in the hallway going to work? What did I want to do in terms of revisioning events far into the future of the story? I needed to let it simmer in the back of my mind for a while.
And then The Mysterious Co-Writer decided to jump into the issue just as I was starting to get things figured out with a revisioning of his own. The Aleister in the story now is not the Aleister that we had originally started working with. So I needed to figure out how to make the changes work with what I had already written in the hopes that I wasn’t going to have to take all nine chapters down and start all over from the beginning.
We’ve had to do that more than once when his revisioning or mine caused a story to get turned on its ear. For some reason we both really love to play with alternaverse.
Still, as of last night, and yes, it was actually last night that this happened, I finally managed to get everything squared away, more or less, so that I can get back to writing the story. The chapters already posted do not need alteration, for which I am eternally grateful, and it doesn’t alter too much what was intended to happen later on, which makes things easier all around. I found my notes on what I was going to do with Bastion and I’ve started work on Chapter Ten.
With luck, it should be posted sometime today.
This sort of writing is what I do best. One chapter at a time, immediately offered to an audience from whom I can get responses just as quickly. I discovered this writing fanfiction back during the mid to late 90’s on email discussion groups before the Internet was as omni-present as it currently is. I had a fourteen year old boy addicted to what amounted to a romantic soap opera. It was my proudest moment.
This is the sort of storytelling that Charles Dickens did. This is the sort of writing that originally created our modern concept of the novel. It’s a type of storytelling that has fallen to the wayside in later years as society and technology progressed, allowing for novels to be written as whole works and offered as such. It’s a form whose time has come again.
We have the technology now to make the old new again. I write best this way and now I can offer my stories to an audience as fast as I can write the chapters, and I can hope for responses just as quickly. As time goes on I’ll add more stories-in-progress because I’ve got so many of them that it’s unbelievable. The universe I’m building has been developing for more than twenty years inside my head. It’s past time that it found an outlet and an audience.
Thank you for your patience, and your loyalty. All responses gratefully accepted.
Edit: Chapter Ten has been posted for your reading enjoyment. Thank you.