Friday, July 30, 2010

[Air Boy] Prologue + On Beginnings

Yesterday, I completed the prologue for Air Boy, my urban fantasy young adult [something I had thought I'd never type] novel. Yes, I am fully aware that urban fantasy novels do not do in general and prologues have lost their sparkling popularity lately, but this short [1,127 words long] prologue had to be written or else I'd have to bog down the first chapter in flashbacks. I am fully aware that this is the vomit draft as Adam Christopher calls it, but I would like to have a look at it again, because Ambrose [main protagonist] is a different from what I usually write and I want to tweak the voice, get used to it. He's a teen. A self-made goofy teen, who uses the bouncing ball of humor image to cover up whatever crosses his mind. Serious thoughts, jokes, sarcasm and whining have to be balanced.

However, I am not talking about the intricate challenges of writing teens. I want to talk about beginnings in general. I wanted to start work on Air Boy, since the beginning of the month, but I pushed the date as far as possible [using the excuse that I was working on shorts] and when I sat down on Wednesday to start I yet again postponed [this time I realized I had to name the cast, because I could not use my brother, BFF, uncle 1, uncle 2 and hobo dude for ever]. At that point I realized that I feared starting this novel. Ever the philosopher, I decided to rewind and observe whether I acted scared with my previous projects.

Starting Crimson Cacophony was not difficult. I welcomed the first chapter, because it was my first chapter [for real that time] and I enjoyed it again, when I had a second go at it, because I knew how to fix it and do justice to the concept. My second and third novels [a NaNoWriMo and a sudden fancy] never caused any problems. Then again the NaNoWriMo is 50,000 words long and written according to what scenes I wanted done, while the 'sudden fancy' is not yet done, because after the middle mark I realized how it should have been written. I never have problems starting short stories [finishing them is a different thing], but Air Boy is somewhat of a different animal. Air Boy is me trying to think as a professional, seeing the market's state even if it will definitely change by the time I am ready to submit, fitting it in a schedule, but most importantly having expectations.

"Novel I" is a first novel. Nobody expects those to make it. You learn the ropes and that is that. Sometimes it gets published. More often than not, it doesn't.

"Novel II" is a NaNoWriMo. I did it to try it, to learn to work in a tight deadline. Since it is more or less an experiment, I can't say I feared anything.

"Novel III" was more of a whim than anything, so I did not invest much into it. Since I do enjoy the themes and the world of it, during rewrites the situation will change.

But I feared starting Air Boy, because:

* This will be a series I hope to sell and it adds pressure. Once you have started, you have to do it and you have to do it right, because to sell a series the first novel has to offer promise.

* I have invested half a year into the world, the characters, the eventual storyline. No detailed outlines or anything, but active investment. And I want to represent them as best as I can.

* Because the upper two clauses have built expectations as to how I should write this novel and I have to meet them. If I fail, I would be failing my imagination and it's scary.

* On a completely unrelated note, this is a commitment. A novel is no joke and to a certain point this fear is always present within writers.

I have started. The battle is on. I am a general on a mechanic battle horse and am more than ready to charge. The fears are behind me. Only the writing is important now, but tell me do you venture bravely or do you go through these fears?

I tried searching for an image titled Air Boy, but came up with Balloon Boy by Mike P Mitchell. It is vaguely related, but I am posting it cause it's fun.


T.D. Newton said...

It makes sense that you'd be "afraid" to start this one if you're taking it more seriously. It's also good that you're aware of that "fear," so you can work toward overcoming it.

Then again, you've written enough projects that you should be able to just relax and enjoy it by now. Stop beating yourself up so much.

Charles Gramlich said...

Scary indeed. But the sheer fun of creativity in the early days of a book always make up for it to me. I just love that part, perhaps more than the writing and polishing. Good luck.

T.S. Bazelli said...

The beginning's always the hardest part for me, but the fear will go away if you just keep writing. Don't worry about it. Enjoy the process.

Stephen Watkins said...

Well, you've piqued my interest by title plus genre definition, alone. I'd at least pick this book up to read the back cover... Good luck with the writing!

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