5 minutes 33 seconds| The importance of happy accidents: Woman mails ladder across country in simple brown parcel paper. It goes missing in Iowa. People start turning up in hospital emergency rooms in strange falling accidents.
This is the one of two pieces written in 2014. The time stamp for creation is 8/17/14, but as all my compositions, I do not know when the piece was finished. This is because modifications and remixing may commence immediately, and extend over several years, and to the present day.
I cannot blame my slowdown entirely on my benzodiazepine usage (though light, and of short duration), or on the withdrawal syndrome that followed. Age, grief, and the routine of a six-year relationship figure into this it, as well as intense work on my new novel.
This work was started almost one month prior to the day I started taking benzodiazepines for anxiety.
The Difficulty of Writing Well| Every great novelist has at least one great novel in him or her; and perhaps only one great novel. This is often the case. One may say that Jane Austen wrote the same novel six times; and perhaps similar charges may be laid at Melville’s door, and so on. I am surely doing this in my second novel, in which I am revisiting many themes. I can do little else where so little in this world interests me.
The best television shows have a deep pool of writers expressly to get around this problem; and moreover since, where working independently or collectively, they act as catalysts on one another. Varied writers bring varied perspectives to character development, from which more character development may occur. Fresh blood and fresh perspectives can only further enrich the narrative experience.
I say this to illustrate the difficulties posed where one writer tackles a subject. Time—sometimes, many years—is needed for the writer to live with characters and grow to understand their psychologies and motives. Where time is not a luxury, other priorities come to dominate, especially where there is a deadline.
Arthur Conan Doyle wrote one novel for Sherlock Holmes, with many chapters, whereas H. P. Lovecraft had a much smaller skill set and so reused the same template ad infinitum: A man with a rapacious hunger for knowledge and power is undone by these character traits when summoning ancient primordial monsters.
My favorite writer on subjects similar to mine is M. R. James. As an academic, James wrote only one ghost story a year, and as such took his time to dwell on subjects of his keen antiquarian interests. Moreover, like Shakespeare and Dickens, he had a talent for socio-type mimicry and dialogue, and populated his stories with many humorous characters. (One may hear P. G. Wodehouse on these occasions.) James’ humor is often forgotten when praising his ability to weave a haunting tale.
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