Only You

Only you
can make this world seem right
Only you
can make the darkness bright
Only you and you alone
can thrill me like you do…

Thank you, Platters. You may go now.

Don’t expect some big revelation today. This is one of those posts in which I babble about stuff we already know.

So yesterday I mentioned that I spent a good part of my weekend planning out the future of the Talent Chronicles–the actual what happens in the books part, not the part where Joss Whedon wants to direct the TV series AND have a hand in the comic books. I plan that part all the time. Nope, this weekend I was doing actual, productive work.

And I loved it. Very much a feeling of “I love it when a plan comes together.” One random thought I had over the weekend was, It’s good that I’m getting this all down on paper. Because if it does really well, I will surely be hit by a bus so that I can’t enjoy it, and if I have notes then whoever they hire to continue the writing will know where I was going. Also, tangentially, After I get hit by the bus and they hire someone else to write as me, I’ll probably be even more prolific and sell better. Like VC Andrews. Because there’s always a bright side.

But I digress. Regularly. Even in my head.

What this made me remember is just that no matter what notes I leave behind, no one will be able to pick up and write the Talent Chronicles as I would have written it. Could someone mimic my voice and style? Sure. How hard could that be? But the life experience I put into my work is uniquely mine. The things that occur to me to come out of my characters’ mouths, the quirks of character and backstory that I come up, that stuff is all me. Because no one else has experienced the world the way I have, processes it the way I do, or sees things the same way.

I am a speshul snowflake. So are you.

One of my favorite parts of Hush Money, especially of writing it, comes early in the book when Joss’s dad is leaving her in charge of the store and is giving her last minute instructions. And these should be about putting the money in the safe and making sure the doors are locked. Boring! But Gene suddenly goes off about emergency escape pack and getting to the rendezvous point. I had known Gene was a survivalist and that would be part of the story, but until that came out I didn’t know he had “issues.”

Who Gene is very much came out of my life. Is that my relationship with my dad? Um, no. It’s not. But Gene, and Joss’s relationship with him, come from things I’ve experienced including people I’ve known, books I’ve read, and situations I’ve been in. And I believe I’m the only person who would have written that speech coming out of Gene’s mouth in that moment.

If there’s anything helpful or comforting in this revelation, I think it’s the fact that there will always be originality.

You see, there’s nothing to do anymore. Everything decent’s been done. All the great themes have been used up. Turned into theme parks. So I don’t really find it cheerful to be living in a, like, totally exhausted decade where there is nothing to look forward to…

Yes, Happy Harry Hard-On, that was deep. And sometimes it seems that way. But it’s not really true. There will always be new, unique ideas, combinations, presentations, and the more of yourself you put into what you’re doing, the more what you’re doing will be uniquely yours.

My name is Paige Woodward and I have something to say to you people… We are all really scared to be who we really are. I am not perfect. I’ve just been going through the motions of being perfect, and inside I’m screaming.

I think what Paige is suggesting is that when you’re worried about what everyone else is doing, when you’re worried about getting it right, maybe what you should do is scream.

Like only you can scream.

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7 Comments

Filed under writing

7 responses to “Only You

  1. Maybe there are no new things to be written about, but each person puts a unique spin on it. No matter how many vampire books you read, none of them are the same unless authors are actually copying someone else (I’ve seen that, too). Your Talent Chronicles remind me of the X-Men, but they aren’t LIKE the X-Men. Because these characters, situations, and dialogues are yours and yours alone. You put so much of yourself in your work that it really shows when the reader is experiencing the story. You KNOW you’re one of my favorites authors. 🙂

    But I’m not going to scream. I would much rather laugh.

    • Thanks, LL. When I scream onto the page, without worry about doing it right or what people will think, those are some of my better moments.

      • You know me, though. I like to laugh through life, and sometimes that comes out on the page, too. LOL. Look…there I laughed again.

        Isn’t it interesting how everyone is so different in how they do things and see things? I’m glad we aren’t all the same. How boring would that be? 🙂

  2. I love this post, Susan. It makes me want to buy your books…so off to Amazon to check them out. I keep bumping into your name on FB and Twitter. Sorry I haven’t checked it out before this.

    L. j. Charles

  3. Ashlee

    I loved Hush Money and have been patiently waiting for a sequel. Okay maybe not patiently… I’m a huge reader… Around 5 or 6 books a week. I look up the Talent Chronciles atleast once a month but nothing! I loved the idea of this book but I’m dying to know when we will see the next installment??

  4. Thanks, Susan! I love the line where we’re all as unique as a snowflake. Besides, even if they’re imitating your style, that’s just them trying to find their own but are having a hard time doing so.

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