Fancy a picnic, anyone?

I’m feeling incredibly written out right now. It’s not that surprising considering how productive I’ve been. And how intensely I’ve been into DW fandom for the last 16 months (it really is that long).

Part of me feels I have the ability to take my writing up a level but I don’t know whether fandom is the right place to be doing that or whether I need the stimulation of something different. There are times when I feel I can’t face one more DW story, not because there aren’t some brilliant writers out there, but because I’ve read so very many. Or maybe I need to start working with a BR or two again.

I find beta readers very helpful to work with and I’ve had some great ones – I think the reason I stopped working with them from about Time Crash onwards was that in many ways my stories are a kind of diary of my reactions to the stuff I see on TV. Time Crash, VOTD and Torchwood S2 all inspired me in similar ways. Maybe I should keep my responses to myself a bit more until they coalesce into something definite. I’m getting very bogged down in TW right now, and Jack’s character especially. He seems to be completely different in every episode and sometimes I practically hate him. Is this meant to be enigmatic, or do the writers just not communicate very well?

Of course, you don’t have to follow canon if you don’t want to, but I do prefer at least to try to write IC. TW seems to be torn between going for self-contained stories or a narrative arc. There are so many plot threads left hanging. I won’t spoil people by going into details but if you’ve been watching you’ll be able to think of a few. As far as the team goes, it seems to be much better on character than S1, with the notable exception of Jack. In his case, we seem to be getting depth but little clarity.

So part of my writing burnout is TW related – I just feel a bit stuck until we get the finale and see what’s resolved, what’s left hanging for DW to take up and what’s left hanging, period.

As far as DW is concerned, a part of me wants to avoid fandom altogether. The fan wars last year were a very unpleasant eye-opening experience which I would hate to repeat. I can’t imagine they’ll be any better this time around. And I want to try and enjoy the whole series on its own terms, not as a build up to a finale which might not even deliver in the way I’d personally want it to.

I often wonder whether I miss Rose as such, or the Doctor as he was when she was with him. I think it’s probably the second. Above all, by the end of this series I don’t want him alone, I don’t want him sad and I do want him to be able to move on without lying to himself or to other people about how he really feels. I think Victoria Coren expressed my feelings perfectly in her comment on the Oscars in last Sunday’s Observer:

Don’t let them make you feel stupid for wanting light with your shade and hope with your tragedy. They haven’t hung on to a deeper truth that we’ve forgotten, they’ve failed to see a deeper truth that we’ve learnt.

They scorn sweetness and optimism because they don’t feel it, therefore they’re blind to it, therefore a glimpse of better nature in narrative will strike them as sappy and bourgeois and misconceived. Frankly, they need to go on more picnics.

I hope the POTB have taken that sentiment on board. If they haven’t, there’s not a lot we can do about it by now.

 

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3 thoughts on “Fancy a picnic, anyone?

  1. I often wonder whether I miss Rose as such, or the Doctor as he was when she was with him. I think it’s probably the second. Above all, by the end of this series I don’t want him alone, I don’t want him sad and I do want him to be able to move on without lying to himself or to other people about how he really feels.
    You’ve put how I feel about the Doctor into words much better than I could have managed.
    It was the Doctor that brought me into New-Who (I wanted to see how different it was from the Doctor Who I remembered) and it is the Doctor, still, that keeps me watching.
    (And the powers-that-be can stop emotionally torturing him any time they like, thanks.)

  2. I’m not a bit surprised you’re feeling written out. You’ve been stunningly productive over the last few months. A bit of rest is in order, at the very least.
    There are books out there on creativity, on locating what inspires you and what engenders the stories you want to tell. Some of those are sometimes inspiring. Maybe it’s time to prime the pump a little bit, treat yourself to some new things to read and watch and look at. (I believe that stimulating yourself visually and intellectually helps with creativity, even if what you’re reading or listening to or looking at has nothing to do with what you’re trying to create.) Maybe the next creative step for you is outside of fandom. Or maybe you’ll come back after a while and take the DW or TW characters in some new and unexpected direction.

  3. I swear by Julia Cameron’s wonderful “The Artist’s Way” as my creative bible, so I’ll certainly be going back to that.
    I do have a few ideas but I don’t want to put stuff out there until I’m completely happy with it.
    Meanwhile, I’ll be busy with my new community for people who are coming over to the UK to see DT in Hamlet. (see tag, “The Play’s the Thing” for further details)

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