As a writer, I spend a lot of time reviewing other books out there. I regularly read book reviews and keep abreast of new releases.
Not only that, but I also try to remain aware of the latest TV shows and movies. Not that I watch a lot of them. But I like to be aware of what plotlines are being utilised, and which themes and ideas are explored. I figure it’s important to be on top of what the competition is up to.
One thing I can’t help but notice is how issues related to what I suppose could be referred to as ‘modern life’ are the main subjects of these works of narrative. The to-ing and fro-ing of relationships, and the complexities of how we deal with each other, particular on some kind of romantic level seem to make up the core of most of these, whether being dealt with in a serious or a comic way.
I can’t help but compare these to the stories I’ve churned out over the last few years. People falling off the world, or drowning in a sea of words. Insects fighting over how many points there are on a leaf and dinosaurs with strange ideas of economics. Not to mention a detective thriller set in the afterlife. I get the sense that I’m swimming against the current, just a little.
So what is my problem? Why can’t I just write a normal story about normal people dealing with normal people stuff? Why do I always seem to end up taking off on ridiculous flights of fantasy?
It seems that it’s all to do with my brain. I just can’t seem to think like a normal person. All that stuff about the complexities of relationships and human behaviour are not things my brain is particularly able to wrap itself around. I just don’t relate to it at all. It’s certainly not how I live – I always try to keep those aspects of my life as simple as possible. If you like people, be nice to them. if you don’t, just try to avoid them as much as you can. No wonder I struggle to write stories about tangled and messed up human relationships.
On the other hand, my brain has no problem coming up with out-of-this-world fantasies. It spends a large part of most days fixated on them. I guess that, given it’s not caught up with the complexities of interpersonal politics, it needs to find something else to do. And that’s why my stories usually end up taking a similar trajectory.
So that’s me, and my strangely non-functional brain. No matter how I try, I can’t force it to relate to a world it just can’t seem to relate to. I guess I’ll just have to live with it.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as