End creative writer's block: write fan fiction about your subconscious

I've found a way to get around the writer's block that I've had for a long time around creating original fiction.  

I realized that rather than telling myself that I'm "authoring" stories (something which usually makes me collapse in a pile of guilty defeat-- why? I don't know?), I can just write fan fiction about my subconscious.


I think of fan fiction differently than I think of "literary" or even "original" fiction-- I guess because it's fiction written by amateur authors about characters invented by professional authors or screenwriters.


Though I rabidly read "normal" fiction throughout my teen years, in my early twenties and up to now I started to prefer the somewhat illicit-seeming thrill of fan fiction.  One rather weird example of this is the fact that I've read possibly thousands of pages of Harry Potter fan fic and exactly twenty pages of J.K. Rowling's actual writing.



Why? Well, I'm a well-seasoned reader and it didn't take long for me to notice that most fan fictioners are far better writers than Ms. Rowling and did more justice to the nuances of the characters and world she incepted.  As a pretty fun result of this preference, I have no sense of what the actual canonical Harry Potter plot is. This makes watching the movies really great.


The characters who make repeat appearances in my subconscious (in my night-time dreamlife, in my day dreams) feel to me more like pre-existing TV or movie characters rather than characters that I as an author "make up" perhaps because I "see" them so vividly in dreams. This is probably how it feels for very many "legit" authors-- but when I think of myself as an "author" I get writer's block.  This undoubtedly has to do with some amazing neurotic complex that I aquired somewhere in seventh grade.


In any case, I've started writing that fan fiction about the characters in my subconscious. It comes in little flashes.


I figured I would share it here with you, as an encouragement to us both.  It's a first-person narration from the point of view of the leading male character, Reverie.


Warning: Carolyn's Subconscious is not a G-rated program by a long shot.  It's primarily concerned with eros and thanatos.


Carolyn's Subconscious - Flash #1: The Warehouse

I'm walking in the ruins of a warehouse.  I'm searching for Elsie.  There's a grip in the pit of my stomach because I fear she's dead, her body covered by a pile of plaster and bricks. I must be quite a sight to the eerie gods watching me.  I'm half the man I was, deranged and distracted by the whispers of spirits who had promised to help me and instead dismantled my world and stole the one woman I swore to protect.


The body I'm wearing is young and strong, muscled and at its prime; but inside I'm an old man.  I've failed and my failure has collapsed me.  I keep thinking I can smell her death-- her sweat and her perfume mingled with rot in the dust of the ruins.


Even in the midst of my distraction, my grief and my disgust, the thought of her perfume excites me.  I'm so in love, so in lust.  I can still feel her improbably soft hands touching my chest.  I can still hear her moaning as I moved on top of her, inside her.  She was a sister to me in a never-ending spiritual war; the mother of my child; my charge and my ward.


I was her servant and her master, the priest she confessed to and the man she redeemed.


"Reverie," she would say to me, "I love you," while we walked across a desert; while we bedded down for the night; while I bled; while she held my arm. Moving through the rubble I could hear her voice, the opening velvet of it that always disarmed me. I had wanted to die for her. That would have been a pleasure. But not this, not this stumbling through the ugly detritus crazed with grief and desire. Not her death.


I saw it-- one of her hands.  A great mass of fallen plaster covering the rest of her.


I dove in and dug.


There she was: still.  So terribly still.  There she was: clay. All clay.


I knelt with her body in my arms; I knelt holding her.  The moon beat my back.



Love! Carolyn




Posted on September 28, 2011 and filed under Creativity.