So I get a lot of my ideas from really myriad places. It can be a twist off of something I see or hear on TV, a conversation I have with someone, something I see on the internet: anything that makes me think: “hmm, what if?”
Anyway, last night I was up late watching the History Channel (yes, judge away) and I saw a commercial for the new Halo 3 game. After the show was over (it was The Universe, if anyone cares), I came back upstairs and searched on youtube for the same thing and found this , which was an extended version of it. The combination of the visual and the music really set me off, and reminded me distantly of the project I affectionately call the Novel from Hell. It’s something I’ve been working on since spring of 2001 (when I was 13), and has gone through more revisions and reimaginings than I would have thought possible. I think…I feel, everyone has one magnum opus in them. When I figure out how to do this one right, this will be it. I know it. I have no characters so real as these, no ideas so thought-out. Yes, there are still a hundred thousand things wrong with it, things I don’t have the writing maturity to solve yet, but I’ll get there. For now, it sits on the back burner and about once a year, I play with it, rewriting sections or the whole thing, changing the setting dramatically (it’s been to the Balkans and Canada and back again).
So, back to this commercial. It sparked an idea which I know won’t be quite like the Novel from Hell, but will play on a number of different parts of it – and because of that, I feel the whole process of writing it will be so much easier. The outline, which I’ll write tomorrow, will probably take less than an hour (compared to the outlines I finished the other day, which took weeks). Because this protagonist will likely resemble the protagonist of the Novel from Hell. There’s also a dim part in the back of my mind that stepping away from the novel and rewriting the concept will help fix even a tiny part in the patchwork that is that novel.
Excerpt from my rough notes about it (project yet untitled):
Boy watches father’s funeral, becomes a ward of the state, does as he’s told because he’s afraid. Then one day…he begins to plot to destroy from within, to destroy the blight that his country has become. He plays as though in chess, moving all of the pieces without anything ever being traceable…until the day he tips the final piece, and ends up with a total collapse, a complete coup, and becomes the leader of the country…He wonders how he became the man who killed his father.
At any rate, after writing the trilogy described earlier, this will probably be a refreshing breath of something easy and familiar to write, something to get me going again. I’m actually looking forward to writing it. But then again, while I may call it the Novel from Hell, it’s always been my favorite thing to work on.
Peace out; hope the planning is going well for everyone in NaNoLand