Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Antagonizing

Every time someone post a link to my blog on their blog I feel this horrible pressure to write a really great post. I know that my writing a great post isn't going to happen but that doesn't mean I don't feel the pressure.

My novel for NaNoWriMo which turned into my NaNoFiMo and well is still not quite done, is a novel about a writer. It's a novel about a writer who struggles with the pressure of writing well and about how everyday things in life inspire creative fiction. The short stories that the writer writes are all different but they all have one thing in common, human antagonist.
I've been reading about antagonist and their role in current fiction. What I've found is that most commercial fiction have human antagonist. Literary fiction can be woman vs. nature or woman vs. herself but it's not likely to sell. If you want a book that sells you better have a villain of sorts.
Does that mean the literary books aren't worth writing? I guess it depends on why you write. For me, the person I struggle with most in my life is myself so I like literary fiction. The reason I write is for me, not for money, so when it comes time to decide what to do with my novel I don't think I'll just break it into the short stories and ship them off. I know that means that the book doesn't have much of a future but oh well, for me it's been the therapy I can't afford and maybe it will mean something to someone else so I'll try my best to let others read it. Although, if I read it in a few months when I'm ready to make edits and find that the short stories can be saved but the internal battle of the writer is horrible than maybe it will see a different fate.

Anyway, this all got me thinking about my bad blog posts. I write on here about my struggle to be an okay writer. It's a battle with myself. Maybe that's why few stick around to read it. Maybe I need to come up with some crazy menacing villain who is trying to hold me back from writing.
I'm sure I could think of a few humans that could be considered my antagonist like my family and people who call themselves my friends, the publishers that won't publish me and the people that keep comic books a male dominated industry. Maybe then more people would come back to read.
The thing is that there isn't a person that keeps me from writing. I'm very fortunate to not be trapped behind the bars in the yellow wallpaper. Maybe these people keep me from being published but not from writing. I would like to get published and I do write about how I am trying to get published but it's the writing that matters. I won't get published if I don't write and if I don't do it well. So it is the blank page that is the antagonist on this blog and maybe a crazy villain will appear from time to time. Does this mean that people won't come in flocks to see my blog? Probably, but that's okay because this blog is for me.
I don't have anyone near me (oh Jenni why did you leave me?) to sit and talk to about writing. To be honest they don't really care but my blog cares. That's why it's here. Read it if you want to.

2 comments:

Julia Buckley said...

Nice post. I know exactly what you. Problem is I don't think this feeling ever really gets away - but we can learn to write inspite of it.

Good luck with your writing.

jenni said...

I just taught my 9th graders all about conflict in a story. They also had to learn protagonist vs. antagonist (and they all want to know are there other gonists?). I taught them that there can be internal or external, and then all of the human vs. ____ that I could think of. Then they started dissecting our stories and even came up with their own human vs ____ equations. Almost every single story we have read this year has had some interal conflict, or human vs. self. (In which case, the antagonist is the self.) Many of the stories were contemporary so it seems to me that there should be no problem with this sort of antagonist. Maybe modern writers just cop out or something? I don't think there's any reason an antagonist can't be nature, fate, desire, machine, naugahyde, etc.! ;) I think most stories are really shallow if it's *only* human vs. human because then it makes it seems as though the protagonist is perfect and has no struggles within him/herself. No humans are perfect. Anyway, I do care about your writing! I just get an insider's view via emails so I'm not always as current on the blog action. I feel like I should print this post for my freshman to read because it so totally sums up the stuff I have just been teaching them, but alas, the semester is over. I will have to bookmark it for next year LOL ;)