Having just finished draft two of book four (Woo!) I find myself wondering what it’s time to write now – because there’s the obvious – book five; the less obvious – Glass House; and the completely insane, why am I doing this to myself, why did I DO this to myself.
You see, Earthbound is my beautiful baby. My gorgeous wunderkind. My masterpiece – or at least, it is so far. It’s a bit like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets Alice in Wonderland – if Alice was a bronze age Chinese princess and the Hatter was the outcast god of stars.
The trouble is, it’s…one hundred ninety thousand words long. And a bit. I rounded…um…down. Now, the truth is that this monstrosity of a manuscript is really possibly TWO books (and that’s half the problem). Therefore, whenever I go to start editing, I’ve been having the exact opposite of my usual writing nemesis, Blank Page Syndrome. You know it – that thing that happens when you have all the ideas in the world, and the words are at your fingertips, and you feel your soul swelling with creative impulses…and then…
So much space! So much pressure! So much! Something! It’s evil. But anyway, the problem with Earthbound is the exact opposite of this. It’s so many words! What do I DO with them? As I stare, they start to waver on the page until they turn into a tiny army of spear-wielding word-natives, desperate for my soul.
I need my soul, so as you can see, this might be a problem. But – I digress. The real truth is, I’m doomed to Earthbound, and because of that it is time for Project: Immersion!
You see, Earthbound takes place in the mysterious past of China’s Sichuan region, where the ruins called “San Xing Dui”, linked to the long-lost ancient kingdom of Shu, hold terrible secrets!
What this means, of course, is that I must take my brain OUT of the west, out of Irish Mythology and into the shadows of China’s most ancient past. This means movies, music, books, everything has to change so my poor brain can recover from the doom that is the Eight Kingdoms.
I’ve watched some excellent documentaries today, detailing the fine bronze, gold, jade, and ivory pieces that have been discovered and cataloged – as well as some scary truths about flooding and ancient human sacrifices!
I think my next step is to re-read Genji Monogatari, for ambience, then watch Takahata’s Kaguya-hime, which is a Japanese retelling of the Chinese mythology that Earthbound addresses. And perhaps then, the Dream of the Red Chamber?
Because beauty and agony, that’s why. Beauty and agony!
Wish me luck! (And if you have any suggestions for Chinese movies, books, or music, that will help me get in the spirit of San Xing Dui, send them along in the comments!)