I think I just had an epiphany of sorts. I read this book by Michael Chabon called Maps and Legends…ah fuck, nah that’s wrong. I did read that and it was good but it was Charles Baxter’s Burning Down the House that I was thinking of. In his book, Baxter criticizes epiphany literature wherein the story goes nowhere, the lead character realizes something and that’s the end of the story. It was a lot more clever than that of course.
But anyway back to my cliched epiphany.
The first novel that I completed…well the only one that I completed…was about a disillusioned male protagonist who gets shot for no reason at all and doesn’t really care. And then the book ends.
I didn’t try to publish the book because I was like well this shit doesn’t even go anywhere.
Then I read books about writing stories and they were like, hey does your story go nowhere? Who do you think you are? Anton fucking Chekhov? Cut that shit out and stick a dick in your ass, nobody wants to read that trash.
So I said fuck it I need to write a story.
But you know that first book was oddly suspenseful. All of my beta readers finished that shit in a day and they aren’t even big readers, certainly not fast readers. There was nothing in it to figure out, so I don’t know how it was suspenseful. I think the characters were good and people just enjoyed spending time in that world.
So I just thought to myself, what the fuck, I’ma write that shit again. Or some other shit like it.
The truth is I somehow can’t get myself to write even a short story. Ha I should post the one short story I did write the other day. It was about a little girl who gets a puppy and then two paragraphs later finds an old dog dead in the yard and she is in graduate school and hates herself and her mom and her mom hates her and the dog and the mom finds out that the dog is dead and she cries for the first time in her daughter’s life.
Man I can’t write stories that go places for shit. I think I just can’t because I don’t believe that shit. I don’t believe that everything is connected, that there is a higher power, that shit rises and falls in an interesting way. I believe life is boring as hell and miserable too. I don’t think there’s any lessons we can teach anyone else. I don’t think curiosity makes life worth living.
But oddly I do love stories. I like tight plots and stories that go places and I don’t like Sarah Orne Jewett and her intricately designed settings and characters and absolutely nothing going on. Well I guess I haven’t read her stuff in a while so maybe that’s not true any more.
I guess I might be having trouble writing stories because it’s not the truth for me. Stories are a way of expressing deeper truths. I don’t have any truth I want to express…that’s not true.
The truth I want to express is “life is meaningless and the only things worth doing are loving someone and/or looking cool while smoking cigarettes…maybe sex too.”