Back in February, I gave up writing fiction; I explained in a blog post at that time. It didn’t feel like a choice I made — just an acknowledgement of my inability to create fiction.
But ever since I watched the new Star Trek movie, it was like something switched on — and I’m not talking about my fangirl-ness this time. Something else that’s been making me feel restless and antsy, as if a current of electricity is going through me, trying to find an outlet to flow out into something.
And it took a couple of days for me to recognize what that sensation was: the need to write again… specifically, the need to work on An Island in the Moon again.
Part of me is lazy and harried and overburdened enough that I don’t want this back, this need to tinker and brainstorm and agonize over an invented world, with invented people. Part of me wishes that I could just let this go, like I believed I did back in February.
Just WHAT IS IT about this storyline that won’t let me go?
The two things in the movie have been resonating in me, like two notes that get louder and louder the longer it plays in my head: 1) Kirk asking the elder Spock if his father was alive to raise him in the other timeline, and 2) Spock being struck dumb as his mother falls away before his very eyes, his arm still outstretched to her.
I realized today that my two characters in Island have each lost parents as well — in this case, mothers. And why that is so — I’m aware enough of myself to know why that is so, having been raised by two wonderful people whom I love and call my parents but aren’t blood-related to me.
And, like Spock and Kirk, my characters saw each other as hostile as well, albeit in a very different context. But whereas the writers of the new Star Trek movie had a whole mythos to work with, 40 years in the making (all of those different series, the novels, the fan fiction), I’m starting from scratch, and I don’t even know the ending to this story.
Goal-oriented as I am, this is driving me NUTS. I’m not any good as the kind of writer who discovers what her ending is as she’s going along. Doing that in the past has garnered me more unfinished short stories and novels than I would care to think about, and, after over two decades of holding on to these aborted pieces, I finally threw them away. I initially wrote the beginnings of Island in this way as well, back in 1984, and then in 2001… and it got me nowhere. But I can’t seem to throw away Island.
And now, of all things, watching Star Trek has gotten me inspired to write again… somehow. But now I realize that I need to have some idea of what the ending is to this story of mine, or else any writing I do will just end up in a dead-end again.
I’ve already decided to change the point of view and to rearrange the order of what I have already. But I need a destination for my story, a place where it will rest at the end. And I haven’t figured that out yet.
I hadn’t intended to work on my novel over my summer break. Part of me really doesn’t want to.
But something tells me I really need to.
I don’t know whether to hug the Star Trek writers… or hit them. 🙂