May's a hectic month. There's lots going on with the day job and the wedding plans are continuing apace (less than two weeks to go and there's still a few things to sort out, but that's ok, right? I'm sure it'll all fall into place eventually.), so there's little free time.
I've managed to squeeze some time to write every day, but in some cases it's been as little as a few words, sprinkled with some punctuation here and there to form a coherent sentence. I'm ok with that, given what's happening at the moment, but there's something thats got me frustrated.
I'm starting fresh. Creating new characters and new worlds. New worlds? Should I just set it in a near-mythical England, something where it's all forest and always raining, sort of a pre-Arthurian genre? Or do I populate a planet of my own creation with strange races, create a landscape that is purely my own, throwing a dragon in for good measure? That's my trouble - I'm happy with my main character's journey, but I don't know where he lives. There are pros and cons for both ideas, too many to put down here (trust me, I wrote a list) but my usual themes of self-sacrifice, redemption and the true meaning of courage are still there; they're universal, so can be applied anywhere.
Years ago, when I was more ill-disciplined than I am now, I'd find myself influenced by everything I watched and read. It's starting to get that way again, and it's annoying. Not just to me, I'd imagine; When I get this way become a surly, grumpy creature, head down and dragging my feet, like some miserable hulk. I don't want to be the next [insert favourite author name here] or write a story thats simply a rehash of something from a different genre (although I hear "Wagon Train in space" proved popular a few years ago...) or a combination of other successful things. I want to be original, write a story that appeals to me as a reader. I'd want it to be published, or course, but I'm a firm believer that you can't write for what you think that market wants to read. Write from the heart, the passion will shine through, and it will be good enough. All so very simple.
At the moment, my favourite TV series currently showing is Vegas. No sci-fi elements at all, so it should normally be something that falls into the 'worth a watch' category. Yet, it has great characters, whose actions are driving a superb plot. The actors are brilliant too (it's good to see Dennis Quaid back, seeing him always reminds me of Willis Davidge from Enemy Mine), working with excellent writing to create something very special. There isn't a character you can't identify with - or, dare I say, even sympathise with - which is what makes Vegas appeal to me. Yet, as good as those characters are, the world they inhabit influences them, for good or for ill. That's why it's so important I get my world right. Writing's hard, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and I'm not going to give up.