It’s been a while since the start of the year and I have now decided to take some time out to write a post. This one is about something that I undertook with my creative writing that has made me feel unusually comfortable with but it needed to be done. To start the year I kept calm and carried on with my priorities. I cut out wasteful and unnecessary tasks that were dragging me back and got to work on a list of things.
First I started to cut out TV and reruns and concentrating on some new reading material. I am currently reading James Joyce epic novel Ulysses. At over 900 pages it’s the most intellectual and longest novel I have ever read. I am currently up to page 500 as of now. The novel first came to my attention ten years ago when a reviewer described by novel ‘A Baffling Unoriginal’ as having a style and use of words that was similar to Ulysses and in particular the style of writing by Joyce.
I read a report by an Irish psychologist called Paul Whelan who studied his writing and his behaviour from his diaries. According to Whelan, Joyce was aspergic and it is reflected in his writing. Joyce seemed to have a creative manipulation of language and uses a stream of consciousness technique that is akin to thought disorder. Even the novel’s structure is a puzzle in itself. The story is not structured in a conventional way with chapters and subheadings. It can be argued that he has mental health disorders influencing his work.
Last month I had decided to rerelease A Baffling Unoriginal in a completely different book. The novel will be integrated into a new book that is a non-fiction book that argues the case for autism and science in politics with the novel working as a literary drama of the argument that I am trying to make in a format similar to that of a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy novel. However the novel’s original story has been rewritten as if it is a whole new novel. Now that is where I am probably going into an Orwellian inspired rewriting of history but it’s not in the context of a novel. This is self-plagiarism and it is done by some writers to help make the story work.
When I was sharing my novel with my creative writing tutor she told me to cut the boring bits out because it was affecting the flow of the story. There were some pieces in the story that didn’t work because they were about generalising the information that the novel was trying to convey. I started to rewrite the novel partly and retain the original settings of the story but then made a few drastic changes to really make the story prove what it was about.
The original tale was about an autistic journalist who got caught up in the 7/7 bombings and explores the themes of terrorism from the perspective of a person on the autistic spectrum. What made me write about that was my anger and frustration at the lack of peace and discontent in a social-liberal society that was being reported in the news at the time. I was so disturbed by these social justice issues I was inspired to write a story about it that combined it with a problem that I was having with my own mental issues. I was unemployed. being ignored and apparently shunted into a state where I was excluded from the mainstream. I created a story with which I tried to express myself as a hero that was confronting an issue head on.
But looking back on it I can see just how far I had come and learnt to express myself and justify my beliefs to people. I have come a long way to showing off my potential and I felt that A Baffling Unoriginal hadn’t proved a voice in the right way and hadn’t done autism justice. So I decided to rewrite my novel and change the direction of the story and it’s settings. There have been a few character alterations, some events changed, the bombing of a London Underground train is still there but with a different motive from the bomber, and the battle of wills between Scott and Jane is much more prevalent that it is used to narrate the social justice issues of autism and the abilities of what we can do to make a better society.
I didn’t enjoy much of the rewriting. No writer likes to tamper with his own work as we become emotionally attached to our creation like it’s a beautiful child born from nature. But we have to set our creations right to serve a purpose to guide people to a bright future.