In Which the Author Finds His Way

I’ve been stressing for weeks over Things Fall Apart, the first book of The Remembrance War.  And I can’t seem to move forward on it.  This lead to all sorts of Impostor Syndrome, and I felt just completely paralyzed with fear that I’m a fraud, that despite getting accepted to VP, there is NO WAY IN HELL I will ever publish a single story.

And then I realized something.  Well, two things.  First, I realized that I might be shooting myself in the face by trying to write TRW as a first-person narrative, especially considering the planned fate of the main character.  But I really don’t want to start drastically re-working that story before I go to VP and get it savaged critiqued by my fellow students and the pro writers and editors we’ll be learning from.  So I set it aside.  If this book ever gets published, it will be a triumph, considering the roadblocks it’s dealt with: not one but TWO file and backup failures, a massive rewrite, and this paralysis.

And lo and behold, once I made that decision and set TFA/TRW aside, the story ideas began floating into my brain again, triggered by everything from an NPR story on the way we respond to crisis to a blip in my memory that annoyed me to an idea Donald Maas asked for years ago and, near as I can tell, nobody’s done.  I’ve got a time-travel crime procedural that may have become a plan for a series of linked short stories about the same protagonist’s adventures in time, a dystopian revolution story that explores the idea of government control and how far is too far for a government to go to safeguard its people, a story about a little girl with an old mind, and several more.

I use Scrivener to write.  I’ve now begun a new Scrivener project in which I quickly write down story ideas whenever they come to me.  When I’m ready to work on one, I’ll spin it into its own Scrivener file.  I now have seven different ideas with some level of flesh on them to later spin out into a tale, and more are appearing every day.

I’m back.

Published by Michael R. Johnston

Father of an eighth grader, high school English teacher, writer. Fifty years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA

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