Learning by example is great and all, but I can’t learn to paint the Mona Lisa just by watching someone do it.
I really want to start writing again. Even if I manage to strike up the inspiration somehow, I’ll still have to deal with something much worse though. I know what to do, but not how to do it, and I won’t be able to do it “well enough”. Of course, if I can still see things wrong with my work that just means I don’t have shit taste and can use that to keep moving forward. That’s easier said than done.
Hindsight tells me Caves is garbage. A steaming pile of it. If I had to do it over, I know what aspects I’d improve on. Motifs to strengthen, plot holes to weaken, characters to flesh out. And sure, if I set out to actually go and do that, it might turn out better than it is now.
But I likely won’t. It’s practically editing and if there’s something I don’t think very fondly of its playing with my own shit for even longer. So I want to start something new. Nothing as big as Caves, but not a three-parter either. A proper good story. But where do I even start? Making it all up as I go will just result in more of the same, but having to outline it all ahead of time has me scratching me head.
I mean, I know the things to pay attention to. By looking at the fiction I consume critically there’s a lot to be learned about pacing, story motifs, conflict setup, world building and so much more. I can see what works and what doesn’t, and have a consumer-perspective feeling as to why. But taking all that knowledge I apply so easily to existing works, and using it as scaffolding for something brand new? It seems… impossible.
Besides, should I really be adding more irons to my fire?