Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Keeping the flame alive somehow

This is my first post in over ten months. I was working from March to October 2016 in my masonry business, and that took priority over anything else; but at around August, one morning, the idea struck me to write a fiction book centering around the role of venture capital and entrepreneurship in the creation of a brave new world in answer to an approaching armageddon.
What had happened is that I had been obsessively reading on the topic of entrepreneurship and venture capital since 2010 in preparation of running my own startup, which, after three iterations, had be put on hold until such a time as an opportunity to be seized would present itself again.
In the meanwhile, all this build up needed an outlet, hence the book. Ideas kept coming out on their own for it throughout that month and even afterwards, compelling me to conclude that I “ought to” pen it down.
I had the idea to compose, play and produce a music album to go along with the book.
And so in October I started, being drawn more to the music at first. After 5 songs, I realized that doing both was too arduous and so I concentrated only on the written story from November onward.
I had assumed that writing a book wouldn’t be too hard “for a guy like me” — the arrogance!
To complicate the matter, it is a science-fiction book and it required that a fair deal of scientific research be done to bring the credibly factor to a certain level.
I sent the first chapter to someone prominent who is an avid reader, and who I respect and trusted not to bullshit me and tell it as it was.
With more diplomacy and tact than were required, the message came across loud and clear: “I have read this,” and “Have you ever read ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King?” he said. In other words, it sucked big time.
Now I was facing the fact that there was more than I had thought to being a fiction writer … if I was to induce someone else to read my work.
I then set out to put myself through a crash course so as to bring my writing up several notches, and went back to work, getting up to and through Chapter 10 before deciding to scrap it all and restart from the beginning.
The second start was much better, but as I was running out of allocated time this winter, I decided to push through getting the first draft all done without bringing each chapter to a satisfactory result, just so I could nail the basis for the book. This episode was painful and filled with self-doubts. At one point I decided that the book should not be written, and I forced myself to finish the rough draft, just for the discipline of completing an action and not merely abandoning something started mid-course.
By the time the first draft was done, I felt liberated; and when I looked at the first chapter, I liked it a lot, even though it would undoubtedly benefit from some polishing should the actual novel be written in the future. I sent it to my trusted reader, who said it was “much, much better”, causing him to want to read Chapter 2, when it’s ready.
So where does that leave me?
I have to imminently go back to my masonry business; however, after several months of steady, albeit part-time work, I now have one good chapter, better writing skills and another 32,500 words to draw from to inspire the novel proper — or the novella — or the short story — to take me where it will, as I continue to unearth its story, characters and secrets.

No comments:

Post a Comment