Saturday, May 19, 2007


In spite of the deep insanity of the decision, I am still working on Thieves instead of Two Evils. I'm doing it without a working laptop, too, which is even crazier because I can't consult what I already have just too often. Or maybe that's a godsend, because I'd only get discouraged if I had to see the amount of working facing me.

*aside* Tate's book is on the bestsellers' lists again, kudos! *aside*

Now, I have this deep, deep doubt that I think comes from being an English Literature major. Something that got planted when I was taking Creative Writing (I'd still like someone to tell me where the creativity came in) classes at the U. Every once in a while, I get this feeling that what I'm writing isn't "important" because it isn't "literary." It causes me to stop writing for a while and once again ponder writing my memoirs or something equally stupid. I enjoy writing great big adventure stories with demons and heroes and easy moral lessons and sometimes darker moral ambiguity. I hate writing about my life. In comparison, my life seems pretty boring, and then there's always the whole "Creative Nonfiction" problem, which is that for the most part, you have to embellish your real life for a memoir anyway, otherwise it's going to come out... pretty boring. And I've never liked talking or writing dishonestly about real things. I'd rather play pretend and act out the tough questions and situations using characters and exotic settings, examine it from multiple angles.

Still, I hate feeling, I hate ever having been made to feel, or ever having the idea planted, that what I'm writing lacks importance because it's for the "masses" to enjoy and will likely never appear in the "canon" along with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Flannery O'Connor and the rest. How did Tolkien do it? Honestly? I would argue that science fiction and fantasy and people who read and write it are far more knowledgable than any of the so-called "scholars" I've met at my university, yet academics for the most part scoff at anything so plebian as a science fiction or fantasy novel. It boggles my freaking mind. I mean, who tells a student who brings a fantasy story to class that a "university level creative writing class" is not the place for this? What, exactly, do university level "creative" writers write about? As near as I can tell, the de jour "literary" writing style is to learn how to artfully talk your way around a problem without ever acknowledging its existance, a la Hemmingway. No wonder flash fiction has become so popular. Who wants to read more than five pages of that kind of ambiguous crap?

I'd argue that what we do is harder. We tackle the big questions, and we do it in space!