increasingly, i am having trouble with writing.  that is, i’m finding it hard even to start.  part of that is, i will freely admit, laziness on my part.  part of it is my goddamned stupid taking-half-an-hour-to-start-properly laptop (wish i could afford / justify a new one!), but a part of it is voice.

i was having a Twitter conversation with the lovely @HRHPrincesscat recently, and we were discussing the upcoming NaNoWriMo insanity.  not too long ago, i had an idea for this, which i quite liked.  but the further away from having the idea i had, the worse an idea it seemed to be.  i have three main characters, a bit of a plot, structural ideas, all that malarkey.  and then… and then…  dammit, it suddenly started to feel restrictive.  the story i had in mind seemed too dark a thing to take on amidst the crazy, lighthearted, sleep-deprived free-for-all that is NaNoWriMo.  and i have proved to myself before that if i plot too much, i get bored and wander off.  verrrrry quickly.  and i like lighthearted books.  i like writing lighthearted books, dammit! even though my first, and favourite, NaNo novel, Minotaur, contains madness, human sacrifice and … well…some other stuff ( mainly books and drunkenness, if i’m honest…), it’s essentially pretty lighthearted.  lots of smiling and joking around going on.  well – that’s how i remember it, anyhow.  but in this new idea, there’s not so much room for that, that i can see.  and i don’t really like books that are emotionally wrenching all the way through.  i wrench my own emotions about perfectly well on a semi-regular basis, thank you so very much.  i don’t need some other bugger to do it for me.  i can feed my own black dog, whether i want to or not.  and the central scene that pins this story to my mind, and the fallout therefrom, is a bit of a nasty one, emotionally.  or could be, if i do it right.

and another thing:  it’s been done before.  lots and lots and lots of times.  by far, far better writers than me.  i’m just some dilletante, after all.  but the crux of the conversation, and the point of this post, i guess, is this:

there are no new stories, only new ways to tell them.

i hold very very firmly to this view.  but there is my problem.  i don’t have a new way to tell it.  only ways that have been done before.  when i think of it, all i hear are other authors’ voices telling the tale.  i do have a voice, of sorts, i guess.  mainly the one i speak in, if i’m writing something long.  my short form voice is different, i think.  but i guess only other people can tell me if i’m right on that score.  but i don’t think my long form voice and this tale would mesh very well.

in view of the fact that i’ve already completed the NaNoWriMo challenge three times in a row, the question i’m now asking myself is this:

how much of a challenge am i up for this November?

what do you think, dear reader?  stick to what i know i can tell, and delight and surprise myself? or go right out of my comfort zone and risk writing a dark, miserable novel that i will detest and think is a complete waste of the challenge?

i’m interested to hear what you think…