Splat… Goes “The Great American Novel”
Someone asked me recently am I going to stick with writing paranormal romance.
My answer was, no.
Because like all writers I had this idea that I have a great, self-defining, tell on our society novel to write.
However, the truth is– In my soul. In my heart. I don’t.
See here’s the thing about the idea of “The Great American Novel”… I think it’s a fallacy. Not a complete fallacy but how it’s categorized is a fallacy.
Getting at this in a different way– the thing is, it’s American to work hard. It’s Puritan to not give into your pleasures. Remain practical, use your brain, denounce sensuality. And here in this country, our work ethic is so intertwined with Puritanism. And that’s what I think the whole idea of “The Great American Novel” comes from.
(I mean only recently we’re starting to hear, find what you love and do it. Oprah and Steve Jobs, and Donald Trump, and others are recently starting to give us this anti-Puritanical advice.)
If you’re writing and enjoying it, loving the process, then you’re not writing “The Great American Novel.”
Case in point. I mean, I’ve tried to read In America by Susan Sontag so many times. I started and then I could never get far past the same point. I tried reading it over, and over again, stopping like twenty pages in. Thinking–what’s the point of this story, and why do I have to work SOOOO hard to figure it out???? Not only that, it’s heralded by critics so I’m trying to really find that sweet spot and hope to God I’ll start enjoying it sooner or later. Never happened. And I even had some guy buy it for me on a date! LOL! Our first, and only date! I guess, it showed I may have been too “intellectual” for him! LOL! Little did he know… I couldn’t/can’t even finish the book! It so DANG boring… He was cute too… Weird, but cute… That’s a whole ‘nother story…
I’m sure it was WORK for Sontag to write it.
Cerebral in her efforts.
And so, the reading process has to be cerebral too. The book did nothing for my heart, for my passions, for my deep inner human sensations…
I’ve always thought I wanted to write that novel spurred by Puritanism and created by using only my intellectual senses (heck what was all that college for anyway!) but no, I’m certain that is not the case.
And there it is… the idea that fools are wise.
So yeah, I think I want to write a story from the male vampire’s perspective once Parched wraps up next year. Ohhhh… that’ll be fun! Also, LOVE– I really, really, love LOVE… You know… I want to write something where characters who initially feel nothing for each other, fall deeply and insanely in love. I love those kinds of stories… Hmmm…
So basically, I’ve thrown my Puritanical ambitions out the window and they went, splat.
Screw “The Great American Novel”… I no longer want to write my own rendition of On the Road or The Catcher in the Rye (which I really think was sensual for Salinger actually, but it wouldn’t be for me, because it’s not what stirs my passions) not my thing … and just because it isn’t, it doesn’t make me unintelligent.
Now back to writing kid.