(Disclaimer: this post is not guaranteed to have any logical structure, or to make any sense at all. It’s intended to give a bit of background to HC (the writing, not the world), much like this or this. Read at your own risk.)
One thing I do when I’m too busy to get to writing is I think about writing. That’s pretty much what For the Pen was—I was too busy with other things to work on ‘real’ writing, so I invested minimal amounts of time and effort to write about writing. But if For the Pen was an extreme case of my meta-writing, then miniature cases are springing up constantly. In the midst of work or play, whenever I get a free moment I concentrate on those things that Kaze ranted about: the reason and goal for the writing.
Most of the time I dwell on HC.
Sunday in the car, coming back from Port Hueneme, we were listening to U2’s Achtung Baby. I was pondering the purpose of U2’s music and I realized that it’s really all about communication. Love exists in communication. Peace relies on communication. “But don’t other groups sing about the same things?” An important factor is lyrics. Lyrics are just words, and that ‘just’ is what stresses the importance of words. Something so simple as diction is hugely important in something like… say, text. I’m not a huge fan of music in general, but I think I can appreciate that U2’s lyrics are on a wavelength I approve of when it comes to words.
But why do I mention U2? Funny little story…
Back in the day, when D had not yet graduated from high school (we’re talking … a little more than eight years, here), I was working on this story called the Crystals of Mana, writing it all down in cursive, in pen, in a notebook. This was before I became a computer kind of guy, this was before I became a print kind of guy, this was before I’d stopped watching American TV. This was when I was still in elementary school. Nine years old, probably. Almost half a lifetime ago.
The Crystals of Mana was Final Fantasy fan fiction in disguise. Rather, I was too young to understand the concept of fan fiction. When kids like Innerfire34 were running around pretending to be older than they were on internet forums, I at that age was sitting in a swivel chair with my notebook and pen in hand, copying names and ideas wholesale. I think it was that year that I got Final Fantasy IX; but no matter. I had previously written stories involving characters from Final Fantasy VI.
I’m rambling, but the main detail of the image I’m trying to conjure up is that there was a boombox on the little white table next to my chair. It had U2’s latest album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind playing. Now, this is the key thing to note—not their greatest. Their latest.
The Crystals of Mana, which eventually evolved into being the first book of today’s Hunter Chronicles, was born amidst the words and sounds of such songs as “Beautiful Day” and “Walk On.”
The particular songs matter little—I wouldn’t even bring them up, normally. I would have thought that the main point was “U2’s music” were it not for a this idea I had: that particular album set my work ethic with regard to writing. In particular, the quality of that particular album. It has one song that is incredibly great, and which I sometimes struggle to emulate in quality. But most of the album is enjoyable without being good, perhaps reflecting my tendency to drop into lower-quality writing styles. I find myself relying on the plot of HC fairly often, much as I see the album as often relying on its lyrics. Every once in a while I’ll write my own “Wild Honey,” a terrible chapter that I go back and delete the next day in a fit of self-hatred.
Now, it’s funny that I mentioned U2’s lyrics, and communication, because in terms of content, well… if All That You Can’t Leave Behind relies on its lyrics, and HC on its plot, those are entirely different, right? Anyone who’s read any HC and has half a mind knows that communication isn’t one of HC’s myriad themes (betrayal, trust, escalation, mistakes, self-improvement, ostracism, etc. are. Communication is not). The connection between communication and HC is entirely that of me. Communication fascinates me (hence my experiments on AnimeOST.NET as ‘Broken_hito’) and HC… well, is me, after a fashion. There’s a clear connection between the two: me.
But what does that mean for U2, and, more importantly (nyehehe), HC?
I often forget those things that are so important in writing—SOAPS, as Mr. Carton taught me this past year. Speaker is self-evident, so I never give it thought. Occasion is something I’ve never once considered, and probably never will, in relation to HC. Audience is unimportant to me in writing; I write primarily for myself and let those who wish enjoy the results. Purpose… well, that’s the big one.
I mentioned earlier in this post that I ponder purpose often, yes? Well, I ponder it often because I forget it often. Why am I writing? Where am I trying to go with it? What do I want to have happen, what do I want to convey, and so on. In the past, I always used to write with U2 going in the background. Not always that one album; U2 itself is associated with HC in my mind. As such, listening to it gets me thinking about HC. One thing I’ve admired in U2 is their ability to push emotion and meaning through their words; this is something I’ve aspired to do with my writing. Listening to them is inspirational, if you will.
But I don’t do it a whole lot anymore.
My inner ear is usually clogged with such music as my ‘sleep’ playlist (various gentle tracks, both instrumental and not, from various anime series), an assortment of loud emo garbage, and whatever else I feel like listening to on a day-to-day basis (normally, KOTOKO’s Agony, savage genius, basically, good, pumping anime music). Also, recently those amazing OPs from Aria. But the point is: not a lot of U2.
And it’s destroying my inspiration.
Or at least, I felt like choosing a scapegoat?
So… back to the first paragraph. I was listening to Achtung Baby in the car on Sunday. I think I’ll listen to it more this week. It’s so good! And, quality aside, it reminds me of my purposes in writing HC. I think I can be more productive now.