Thursday, September 15, 2011

I can finally recognize true genius... and I've realized I can't get there

Words: 8,305
Time: 10:45 - 6:30 (hour break)
Mood: Great
Impression: Good

I learned something today. There are so many more things possible with writing than I have ever imagined. It could just be the books I've read but the level of storytelling that's possible in books is rarely ever approached much less achieved.

Today I finished the 3rd book in my erotica series. I made a couple of realizations during the process. First, this is probably my most psychologically complex story. And I think that's saying a lot because I strive for psychologically complexity. The second book in that list would be 'Happiness Thru The Art of... Penis Enlargement.' And HTTAOPE is pretty complex, but this series tops it.

I didn't even intend for it to be such when I started it. I seriously just started the series thinking I was going to write books that will help people get their rocks off. But it is way more than that now.

Second, there is a level of complexity that's possible in books that I never imagined. What I wrote today suddenly clued me into that. Today was the third book. And only in this book does the reader (and I) realize that the name that the second lead gives the main lead in the first couple pages of the book actually has a deep psychological meaning that neither he nor I realized when it was given. And because that name was given, it paints everything that had occurred in the first two books in a much different light.

Think of like this: You know 'Rosebud' in the movie Citizen Kane, what if it actually turned out that Kane subconsciously spent his entire life trying to recreate the world that existed in his youth instead of just thinking about 'Rosebud' on his death bed. If Kane had done that, it would then have repainted everything you saw in the movie in a completely different light in that last moment. It would have truly, truly brilliant instead of just being on the of the greatest movies of all time.

That is basically the structure that was created in my series. None of that was designed into the outline of the book. I don't think that I have the skill to design something so delicate as that into a story. That just came out in the writing process.

And now, only because I have seen what I created in this series have I been given glimpses into what is possible with plot structure. I can't lock my mind onto it yet, but in the back of my subconscious I'm starting to understand that it is possible to... I don't know... weave a story that flips back on itself twice where the second flip doesn't speak to where the character is or what they're doing but instead to what life is about.

I'm not sure though. It's something floating in the back there that I can't completely grasp. But whatever it is, it's a structure that I've never seen before. I'm sure that some author somewhere has done it. Maybe that's why people call books like Great Expectations and East of Eden their favorite books. Maybe these books have that amazing story structure. Or maybe it's a book like Anna Karenina. Maybe that's why people think that book is so great.

Although I have to say that I don't thing that story structure is possible with one book. That level of complexity can only be possible in either one very, very long book, or a series. But what ever author was able to accomplish that structure I can say, hands down, no matter how many copies they've sold, they are a truly great, genius writer.

I don't think that I can do that. I think there's a line in the movie Amadeus where a character says something like "God gave me enough knowledge to recognize true genius but not enough to acheive it." I think in there will be the punch line of my life. Here's what I think my life's punchline will be: 'On my fourteenth book which happened to be a part of an erotica romance series, I gained the ability to recognize the story structure of true genius, but not the ability to create it.' I do believe that that will be the punch line for my life. Happy Birthday to me!

On a related point, I have been giving my YA book series more consideration. It turns out that the most popular YA book/s right now are part of a violent, Sci-Fi series starring a girl. They are complex and brutal. I don't write that type of book. But that does speak well about having a girl in quasi-violent, Sci Fi book series. Girls apparently will read Sci-Fi books if you make the characters cool and allow them to be able to relate to the character/story.

Also, I realized why I should write the YA book series. It has nothing to do with money or audience. That YA series offers my best chance at greatness. That double flip back story structure would be possible with that series.With everything else that it will do, entertain, excite, whatever, the series is supposed to show us who we are at our core. In other words, when we are stripped apart from the human animal, what is it that remains?

If I ever were to accomplish greatness in the field of writing, that series is where my best chances lie. So maybe what I should do is stop trying to be an author that sells and instead, try one more time to achieve that elusive thing that I am always chasing. Maybe I should take an "anything job" for the next year and focus entirely on one thing, writing something great, with a full understanding that it may never see the light of day. And even if it did, people probably won't buy it.

If I were to do that though, I can pretty much guarantee that it would be my last stand. I'm pretty sure that psychologically speaking I wouldn't be able to recover from that. It's already tough enough doing what I'm doing with little chance of success. Psychologically speaking I need to believe that I have the possibility, no matter how remote that my life could become better than it is. To give up entirely on being successful... I could do it, but I could never recover from the effects of it. And I don't say that lightly. I would never recover from the effects of giving up entirely for the possible hope that after I'm dead someone may look at it and say that it was truly great.

That's a really tough call. I wonder if I would ever do anything worth while with my life otherwise though. I never liked the idea of living my life just taking us space. But actually pulling that trigger on my life, actually pulling the rip cord and saying here is where 'what I consider to be my life' will end is a really tough call.

Tomorrow I outline the last book in the erotica book series. We'll see how it goes. I have no clue at this point. I haven't even decided on how the series is going to end. We'll see.

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