One of the things I’m still learning as a writer is how important it is to start writing so there’s something to react to and refine and revise. I’m not afflicted with perfectionism — at least not the paralyzing kind — and for that I’ll be eternally thankful. At times I do tend to think things through too much, past the point at which I should start implementing or prototyping or laying down a first draft.
In terms of blog fiction and writing a character blog, I had my own conception of what that would be like as a task, and how I could best implement that goal in terms of technique. And so far I can’t say that I’ve been too far off in a material way. What has transpired that I didn’t predict is that from time to time I’ll write something — maybe just a sentence — that suddenly springs to life for me. I can’t predict these moments, I can’t even harness them yet, but I sense them, and that’s making me want to continue the experiment.
If I can say anything useful to other authors it’s that a fiction blog is first and foremost still a fictional work, and there’s no reason not to push that aspect of the work as far as possible. I’m working with a character and a fictional world that relates closely to the real world, and in that there are some constraints. But I can also see now that I’m not pushing hard enough as an author. And that’s something I wouldn’t (and couldn’t) have predicted.
To be clear, I don’t mean that I should be throwing more drama or plot points at my characters or at the reader. I’m not trying to sucker an audience with cliffhanger antics, and I don’t want Neil’s blog to turn into a soap opera. I’m talking about authority and force: the imposition of authorial power on the text itself. I think I should be doing more of that, at least to see if it works or not.