June 20th, 2005

Illustmaker me

(no subject)

I'm watching the AFI Lifetime Achievement aware for George Lucas, and I'm so very much enjoying it. I can't think of any man whose indirect influence on my life was so huge. I mean, Star Wars, Indiana Jones... these things are the background and soundtrack of my childhood.

There's a question that occurs to me rather frequently, especially when watching something like this: Why don't I write the things I most love to read and view?

I mean, when I write, I tend to get into kind of small side stories. But I'm never satisfied with those as a reader or a viewer. As a reader and viewer, I want things that are big. I mean huge. Give me prophecies, princesses, knights, galactic fate, high level intrigue, religious movements, the nature of G-d, all of it. I'm not satisfied with less. This is a bit of a conflict, as I also always aspired to be an academic type, and academia tends to frown on big-bigger-biggest sorts of things.

So I end up writing small stories based in big universes, but never quite daring to do my own big universe. I mean, how could I create a character who would someday have a Pez dispenser, to use the cast's running theme on the show I'm watching? And if I did, would I spend the rest of my life trying to defend it to academics? And still believing in my heart that I was just doing warmed-over Lucas.

It's a quandary. Why don't I just write what I love?

Except that I do love what I write. I love having that big, gigantic overarching story, but then looking at the small things that are happening under that umbrella, the interrelationships among the people to whom all of these great, huge things are happening.

Hmmm. 'Tis inconvenient, cash-flow-wise, since the niche mostly involves playing in other people's back yards for free. But I haven't done well at making my own universe (yet). I really should play with one I have an idea on. See if I can make it work. Except that I've already thought of misreadings of it that I really don't want (I'm not talking crossed-wire pairings, I mean people thinking I'm attacking one religious group or another--or, G-d forbid, religion--with my bad guys, which is definitely not what I had in mind) and I am a gutless wonder about that. I guess it's about communicating clearly. And not being gutless about it.
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    AFI's Lifetime Achievement Award for Lucas