I finished writing my novel, and before I was three days into the editing process, I started a new one.
The new one has a completely different plot, completely different characters, and is set in a completely different world. It is a “shiny new idea” that has been rattling around in my head for quite some time now. It may seem that there is no correlation between the two stories, but to me there is. They are both stories, each with the potential to be something long and maybe even something good. I finished one, and I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I began writing something new.
I am an addict. I have to be writing, and I have to be writing something long-term.
I tend to classify books into seasons. Boy’s Life, by Robert McCammon is undoubtedly a summer book. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern, is without a doubt a winter novel. The Valley of Secrets, by Charmian Hussey , is a spring story, and The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss, is an autumnal tale. My own story that I have already finished is a winter story, or possibly just late autumn. The one that I have just begun is a summer tale, without a doubt.
I don’t think that the season personifying the book depends on the season in which it is written. However, I do think that the season depends on the content of the book, and the content of the book depends on the author’s frame of mind at the time.
I wrote my “finished” manuscript during a time when I was constantly working, and when I was struggling with the idea of accepting and/or rejecting responsibilities. Thus, a lot of those themes are reflected in that book. To me, decisions and responsibility belong in wintertime.
My much newer story comes from a part of my mind that loves being free, but that likes exploring the darker places from time to time. It makes sense that those ideas are touched on throughout the plot. I find the balance of freedom and happiness to be a very “summery” topic, because it is the time of year in which we make our own decisions, but we also have less real responsibility attached to them.
The process of writing and writing more can, I think, be summed up with words from someone else’s book.
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, is undoubtedly a winter story. At the very end is a quote from someone both too insightful and not insightful enough—a combination that we all possess in some form or another. That quote reads, “I have loved the words and I have hated them, and I hope that I have made them right.”
I love writing. But sometimes I hate it, too, because I constantly feel a need to create, and I hate feeling like I am ending something. But I also constantly hope that I am writing something good. I don’t know if that’s just atychiphobia. It very well might be. But it is a part of me, and it helps drive me to create, and I would not give it up for anything.