So, I’m trying to decide which stories I should be writing, and I’ve seen some interesting themes that recur between each.
The first one — and one I’ve started rewriting from scratch multiple times — is a deep-future sci-fi about a man taken prisoner on an alien spaceship. After some terrible torture, he escapes into the bowels of their ship, and is torn between committing suicide to prevent that torture from ever happening again, or going on living in the hopes of finding rescue, and perhaps rescuing his fellow-prisoners.
Second, paused at about 45,000 words, is a modern-day sci-fi about a man who has very vivid dreams of a different life. So vivid, in fact, that he can’t tell which is his real life and which is the dream. In one existence, he’s powerfully depressed and alone; in the other he has a girlfriend, family, and successful career. He embarks on reconciling the two worlds, while escaping the dangers present in each one.
Third, a short story, is a near-future sci-fi about a woman who awakes to discover that she has no senses except for those that a computer feeds her; she’s told that after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, she volunteered for a terrifying experiment which keeps her brain alive, connected to a powerful computer. As she finds herself hostage to the experiment, and to powerful levels of pain-inducing feedback, she has to decide whether to end her frightening new life, or to go on towards an uncertain future.
Whew! Little dark! Are we seeing a bit of my bipolar experience coming through here? Methinks so. The connection between mind and body is a theme in each, and the courage (or other motivation) it takes to keep going. But I have happy endings in mind, really! Well, I actually could end two of them with not-happy endings, but… I don’t like not-happy endings. I can admire them, and sometimes they are far more fitting than the happy ones we get, but I hope that I could make happy endings for the stories that DO fit.
Some of my writing is targeted at a Crichton-y style, though some is more Stephen King-ish. By "style", of course, I mean "economic success". How cool would it be to make up stuff for a living, eh?
The problem I’m facing now is that I don’t know what I should be writing. None of them are poking at me anymore, begging to be written. I think I need a nice manic swing to get back into the groove of writing.
Oh, I didn’t mention the deep-future sci-fi teleplay about the clone who is trying to rescue his original in exchange for his life-rights, and the modern-day teleplay about surviving a zombie apocalypse.
For somebody who did improv & sketch comedy over the course of 15 years (in over 1000 shows, I’ve estimated), I sure don’t infuse my writing with much humor. There are exceptions, but the stuff I’ve pursued more consistently is always serious. The only big exception would be my blogging and Twittering, which I generally try to make funny, at least on some level. I just farted.