I have met with my Masters supervisor, who said I had a very rich, interesting thesis and seems like a pretty cool, very smart dude. I have a premonition now: given my propensity to get really exciting at the prospect of having a story to rip off, and given that my Masters is talking about various sci-fi and fantasy YA novel-to-film adaptations, and given that I’m going to be getting really fucking intimate with these films for the better part of the next 12 months …
My first book submitted for publishing miiiiiight be a sci-fi or fantasy YA novel.
I am a little concerned, but also excited, at the prospect of my relationship to these kinds of films transforming over the course of this thesis. I remember writing an essay on Alien way back in 2014, and while that semester was my worst in terms of my emotional state (and one of the worst grades-wise), one of the high points was watching that movie 3 times in quick succession and starting to get really intimate with it. I think there are some films that just perfectly suit particular kinds of theoretical inquiry, and Alien was one of them; even though I’ve seen The Fellowship of the Ring (extended edition) over 100 times, over the course of a decade, I feel more engaged with Alien, which I’ve seen a grand total of 3 times, all of which took place within a couple of months one year ago. It’s not just how much we engage with something that shapes our relationship to it; it’s how we engage with it. I’ve never really tried to watch LoTR with a critical mindset – for one, those movies are really fucking long, and for another they’re not very neat structure-wise, particularly in the extended editions, which makes them hard to sit through if you want to take notes – but I think if I could manage it I would benefit from the experience. It also might help me get over my hyper-awareness of anything even resembling anything that happened in the The Hobbit films, which has so far pretty much ruined the original trilogy for me, as if I needed another reason to hate the The Hobbit films, oh my god, I hate them so much.
These YA novel-to-film adaptations, on the other hand, I’m sort of in-between with in terms of my engagement, in that while I can’t help but be critical of every piece of media I come into contact with, I also enjoy them immensely, even the shitty ones, kind of more for the fact that they even exist than anything else in that case. The good ones I just enjoy, even if I do burn out pretty fast on some of them (coughDIVERGENTcough), and certainly using the word “good” to describe a lot of these movies is a stretch. But fascinating? Utterly. And I think that, even if I get sick of these movies along the way, my fascination will only grow. And it’s my fascination that I’m counting on coming through for me, to create some of that creative tension I’m feeling in want of lately and spurs me on to get back to creative writing.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not a writer, but I love writing, and I’m going to be doing it my whole life, whether as a career or a hobby. The hope is both, and if we’re counting academia then it’s already kind of both, except I’m paying to write instead of being paid. Hopefully that will change also. In the meantime, I’m going to try and use this opportunity to get my own momentum going so that, even if I am not whipped up in an ecstatic rapture of plagiarism-lust that can serve as fuel to my writing fires, I will be getting some creative writing stuff done – and also to remember that, if that doesn’t happen, it’s no big thing, because I can do something else instead. I love writing, but part of that is because, contrary to what I’ve been telling myself all these years, I don’t have to do it. I love it because it’s not an obligation. It’s just something that I love, and if you love something, you can let it go from time to time.
Also holy shit I’m doing Masters. Let’s see how this goes!