Believe it or not this is a fiction writing related post. For the last few days I’ve been talking about controversial things and being dropped by friends and family and generally feeling miserable from both sides of the political and religious spectrum. I don’t make a habit of talking about this sort of stuff very often because 1) it’s exhausting and 2) I’m really not very good at it.
I’m good at writing about my emotions and what I’m feeling and such and I’m very proud of the piece I wrote here about finding myself between a rock and a hard place supporting supporting gay marriage, but I hate following up with those discussions. I hate defending my positions and mostly I just had dragging it out. Once I’ve written about something I’m done with it, I’ve had my say, and I’m looking to move on to the next thing. And after a big social and religious post, I usually like to move on to something silly. And getting back to that first sentence, this has all, once again, made it very clear to me I have no interest in writing social fiction or serious fiction or psychological fiction or whatever it’s being called these days.
As much as I’d love to be the next Lehane or Lippman or Megan Abbott or whoever, that’s just not my wheelhouse. I can’t keep a straight face. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to tackle serious issue or complex or controversial issues, I just need to do it with some humor and, more often than not, in an exaggerated and satirical fashion. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what my next writing project will be (this is what happens when I get close to the end of one project, I can’t think of anything but what I want to write next)and this point has popped up a number of times. I want to write a “bigger” book and a more commercial book but I need to find a way to do that within my own style which, on initial examination, doesn’t appear to lend itself to a big commercial canvas, but that my job as an artist to make it work, right?
For now though, I have a very supportive publisher who is contractually obligated to publish whatever I write next as long as it’s good. I’m still working on making it good, but I can pretty much guarantee it’s not going to be serious.