On Monday, I came to the realization that the reason nothing else was coming to mind for The Apocalypse of Adrian Reinhardt, was that nothing else needed to come. The story, not developing fully into a novel, had come to an end as a short story.
Because of this, it feels as though the last ten years have come to a sudden, thudding stop; as though after flying freely, changing ever so often, rising again and again like a phoenix, Adrian has slammed into a wall.
This strikes me as unfair. But what do I do?
The most obvious thing would be to go back and see if there’s anything else that can be added. To get it to novel length, however, that would be a lot of “anything else” to add, to the point where it would stretch the framing device beyond the point of disbelief. A man, no matter how much he may love to write, is not going to bust out a book-length account of his life, while recovering from a self-inflicted abdominal wound, in just a few days.
So that won’t work. I know; I’ve tried. I’ve looked over it for a while, seeing what else can be done, and I’m not seeing what I can do. Granted, I’ve looked at it for a while; I have probably started to glaze over creatively when it comes to Adrian.
However, this might just be a sign that I need to let him go. Adrian has been a character of mine for a little more than ten years now. He’s changed several times over the years, beginning existence as a 60-year-old English professor saddled with a drinking problem and unfaithful wife, and finally ending (at the moment, anyway), as a 34-year-old call center employee who was viciously raped by a colleague.
Over that time, he’s gotten tired of flying, and has wanted to land and rest. Frankly, I’ve also gotten tired of him, a little: “Is he ever going to have a home?”
I’ve tried to make changes this year that will allow me to break free of either old habits, or things I no longer want to do. At the beginning of this year, the four of us were planning on moving to Salina. That ultimately didn’t work out, but other changes I’ve tried to make have either stuck (leaving a D&D game I was involved in), or are in the process of sticking (reducing my weight). I think putting Adrian to rest at last in a story will allow me to move on creatively, and make a new story that is its own world, without any ‘outside influence,’ so to speak.
So I guess this is goodbye, Adrian. Fly away now.