Another November has come and gone, and I managed 5,800 words. Not a stellar performance. Am I surprised? No.

This frequently happens — I have what I think is a great idea, and then I lose interest. Even more frequently, I start having different ideas on what the characters should do, or even be, and then I can’t decide. That’s why it took me ten years to write what wound up being a short story. Adrian started out as a 60-year-old professor accused of murdering his unfaithful wife; he wound up a 34-year-old rape survivor. He made a LOT of changes during those ten years.

Now it’s happening with Luci.

Also, I can’t shake what must be a creatively crippling desire of every unpublished writer — to write the Great American Novel, a magnum opus that will establish me as an Important Author. I envision this mythical work as a huge tome brimming with words, characters whose thoughts and deeds shake the ground, deep issues addressed with wisdom, etc.

But then I realized — again — I don’t read those.

I’ve tried, but to be honest, I just can’t finish them. They’re intimidating to look at, almost as a rule, because of their sheer size, and it seems as though very few things actually ever happen. Mostly, the ground-shaking characters seem to always be either standing around, wringing their hands about the state of the world/each other’s affairs, or going to and fro while…wringing their hands. I’m more interested in stories that can be summarized like this: “Then, the two protagonists went to the house to finally put an end to the evil mastermind, only to find he had moved his operations, and had set up a horrific booby-trap for them. Which then exploded.”

This may make me an ignorant, un-cultured goober in some eyes. I don’t care (obviously). I like what I like. Why then do I feel compelled to write something I won’t read?

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