Friday, 30 August 2013

Daphne Guinness and The Creative Thunderbolt

HEY, I've been inundated by bright ideas. I have longed and longed for a grown-up, adult novel I could write and ~~ KAPOWW!!! ~~ last night the vision struck me like a thunderbolt!

Yes, I'm still working on the children's book. But my problem with kiddies' writing is that it's about four times as difficult as writing for adults. When I'm on form, I can knock out a page of adult fiction about as quickly and easily as I can write a personal letter. But children's stuff is much harder for me. You have to be more succinct. More captivating. More everything. And I realized that I would never feel complete, as a creative artist, writing for children alone. (How pretentious-sounding! (But how true!!))

I've had lots of good ideas for adult fiction ~ but unfortunately they have tended to revolve around the single issue of drugs. I do not want to be known as a druggie author. If  the book were a success, my readers are just going to expect more of the same, and will be disappointed if I make departures into more "respectable" territory. I know they will.

The other thing I could have done quite easily (or so I believed) would of course be to write a memoir of addiction and insanity. But that would be an even worse move. I've never heard of a memoirist turn novelist successfully. And because I only have one or two memoirs in me, my creativity would be limited to that. I'd far rather pour my horrible life experiences into novel-writing ~ where, shining through the lens of fictional character, the truth can be expressed so much more vividly, and explicitly ~ without breaching my own or anybody else's privacy. It's a paradox that the truth can be told so much better by means of fiction ~ don't you think!

I tried to pen a memoir some years ago. The gimmick was going to be that you expected a story of how I got drawn into this sordid world of drugs ... with an eventual tale of my redemption, cleanness and serenity. But there would be no happy ending. I'm still mired in drugs. I just go on using... possibly until I die...

Then, hopefully, I do, eventually, get another memoir on how I did clean up in the end. If I don't, then I hope my family would cash in by exploiting my life-story shamelessly. In fact, I would be pissed off if they didn't. At least if they do profit financially from my death then my life would have been worthwhile... know what I mean?

For so long I've been looking for a book to read and I couldn't find a good one. The only half-decent (fictional) reading matter of the past year has been Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir (based on the true story of  Lady Jane Grey, who in the mid-1500s, was Queen of England for nine days) and Martina Cole's Faceless ~ about a murderess released from prison after 15 years, trying to put her life and her past into some order... I don't think I'd make a brilliant thriller writer. And much as I love historical fiction (not historical romance ~ I hasten to add) I couldnt' write that stuff. It's too research-heavy. In my view, the entire point of fiction is that it is just that ~ fictitious. Both the stories I'm plotting out are my own tales entirely ~ they require very little research. I'm so grateful for the Muse being with me now. The Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope, who was nothing if not prolific, appeared to have nothing but disdain for the notion of "inspiration":

  • "There are those . . . who think that the man who works with his imagination should allow himself to wait till--inspiration moves him. When I have heard such doctrine preached, I have hardly been able to repress my scorn. To me it would not be more absurd if the shoemaker were to wait for inspiration, or the tallow-chandler for the divine moment of melting."
    (Anthony Trollope, An Autobiography, 1883)
 Sitting down daily between 5:30 and 8:00am, he churned out an average 2500 words every morning before setting off to put in a full day at the Post Office. I agree, it's not necessary to be "inspired" to write every day. But inspiration IS absolutely necessary to conceive your characters and their story and to get the process moving. It's that inspiration that has been so lacking in me lately. And that's why I haven't written anything for such a long time...

I have been SO MOODY lately. Either UP or DOWN, but rarely anything in between. I stuck my head out of the window one night, as the Restlessness began, and saw a perfect Full Moon floating in the sky above me. I'm sure the moon has something to do with my mood swings. I mean, we all known how the term "lunatic" derives from the ancient belief that the moon was responsible for mania and madness. And the psychiatrists of today are STILL studying possible links between bipolar disorders and the moon... (manic-depressive illness has also long been associated with creativity, too ~ which makes something of a trinity between mental illness, the moon and the Muse... Hmmm.

O yes, and I kept having these dreams about a character called Daphne Guinness. Now I have long (vaguely) known that such a character is a key figure on the London "society" circuit. But to be honest I just assumed she was a talentless airhead ~ a rich nobody. Then I alighted upon a photograph in Vanity Fair magazine of an incredibly striking beautiful woman in the most amazing fancy dress I have ever seen (not the picture here). And I thought, "wow". So I looked her up and found out she is an artist who designs her own clothes ~ and what wondrous creations they are ... She even has her own fragrance with Comme des Garcons. Not such an airhead after all...

O well I gotta go. Did anyone else see WENTWORTH on Wednesday night? Wow that was hardcore. I was expecting something like an Australian Bad Girls... but this was seriously scary. Very well done, though...


... and here is the original PRISONER: CELL BLOCK H



bugerlugs63 said...

I hate to sound all "I told you so" . . . But, I remember ponting out to you many moons ago a connection between your moods (posts) and the Moon. I'm 100% convinced my moods/creativity are affected by the Moon.
Hey, this is how slow I can (sometimes) be; I was half an hour into watching Wentworth and wondering why it reminded me of Cell Block H, before I realised they were all Australian! Dur! . . . I kept expecting Valerie to show up ;-)
Glad you're feeling good x

Louise s said...

Hey gledwood interesting blog mate, I commented some time ago that u were a good writer.I'm a bipolar junkie who writes too,although I've only started again lately. Heroin kinda kills the muse....but yeah kids books are hard, think the key is a unique character...,I've considered memoir too guess our stories may be similar, but I dunno, think it would depress me writing my own story. ... Although I'm picking and choosing certain experiences to include in a fiction novel,can't remember who said it but a famous author once said write what u know, they say everyone's 1St novel is autobiography in disguise, gotta be careful not to get 'mary Jane'syndrome,that is where we cast ourselves as the protagonist in q work of 'fiction' apparently publishers don't like it, but hey it worked for Raymond Chandler! Maybe you could do an irvine Welsh style novel? Keep writing :-) maybe post some on here be interested to read it...ud be protected by copyright too so ur ideas would be safe...take care byways Lou