Discipline!

Here’s the thing. I’m trying to write. Not roleplaying games or fictional histories or whatever, but stories. Or maybe all of those. Or something else. In any case I’d like to write at least some little stories about things that happen in my worlds. But if I ever want to get published, stories is pretty much the way I need to go.

Or… I guess I could start writing roleplaying game supplements. If I focus on a really popular ubiquitous ruleset and I focus on a particularly popular subject matter (fantasy?) then I might could make a bit of pocket change doing that. If I’m really good and really, really lucky. Still, that’s definitely a side I’d like to explore. I would feel a real sense of accomplishment if Steve Jackson were to publish something I wrote. Hell, I’d feel like some sort of a superstar. I’d go to restaurants and ask people if they’d like my autograph. “Who the hell are you!?!”

The trouble with writing for me is mostly discipline. I have a hell of a time just sitting around writing. Anyone who has paid any attention to my blog is probably aware of that. If anyone is paying attention, I’m most thankful and I’ll try harder to make it worth your while 🙂 . That’s not to say discipline is my only problem. Anyone who has paid any attention to my blog is also aware of that…

My original idea for the category of writing was to post little bits of fiction I had put together. Short stories, snippets, galactic future histories, insane doggerel, that sort of thing. This isn’t that. Well… insane doggerel maybe, you be the judge.

I had originally intended to set myself to try writing seriously for a week. See how it went and decide whether I really should pursue writing. Seriously. Failing that, I’d really consider going to graduate school, practice up on my GRE and all that. Well, my wife suggested I try at it for, say, three months. This turned out to be great wisdom. It turns out a week is hardly enough time to get me started on doing anything seriously.

A big part of writing as it turns out is sitting down and writing. Who would’ve figured. Almost at the end of my first week, I’ve gotten to the point where I have two somewhat well-developed ideas for stories.

One is a story set in the “near future” about a researcher who works on a faster than light drive. Hmm, yeah, I’m not too sure about that one… It allows me to play with my weirdly mingled feelings of rampant optimism and dismal pessimism considering space travel and the future. I have a lot of little vignettes about the return mission to the Moon, maybe rumblings about a projected manned Mars mission, possibly as soon as the American Tricentennial, and… yeah, these guys are working on a warp drive. Who’s conflicted there? Not sure how I’d plot all of this.

The other one is about interstellar colonists deciding to emigrate to a new world. I’m playing with a lot of my own conflicted ideas about environmentalism, social responsibility, wanderlust, technophilia, agoraphobia and the shocking ability of people to do all the right things for all the worst reasons, and all the worst things for all the best reasons. I see myself having trouble fitting all of this mess into an interesting short story or managing to fill an interesting novel with just this.

At present these things are just seeds, the hopefully infectious germs of creativity. If they don’t become stories themselves, maybe they’ll lead me in interesting directions that might be the basis of good stories. For now I’ll just put words on the page… or screen… and see what comes of it.

The biggest thing is to actually write. This is part of that.

Thank you for your attention,

The Astrographer

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