Well, of course I want many things – one does. But these past days, as I took my two-day reading holyday (which happily and unexpectedly blossomed and became three days instead), I realized this particular thing: I want to write something that leaves the reader book-lagged.
You know what I mean: when you finish a book, and start the next one – and feel out of place, because you miss the one you just finished. As though you had traveled from one place to another, and couldn’t quite fit in the new place.
Finishing Sutcliff’s Simon, and missing the Civil War as I followed Thomas Dallam in his voyages. And then finding my sea-legs, and settling down – which is a bad choice of image for what is essentially a book of travels – and then missing Dallam very much as I went on to read Beagle’s Tamsin, all the more so because Jenny Gluckstein’s tale begins in modern-day New York. And then realising that all that modern-day New York, and the skilful foreshadowing was drawing me in so very well, and loving the whole thing so much that, for the third time in as many days, I’m book-lagged again.
And yes – this is what I want to do. To make up a world so vivid that the reader can feel it, and people so engaging, and stories so engrossing that the reader will miss them, afterwards. And have trouble adjusting to the world, people and stories of the next book. Or play – of course.
I’m off to write a good deal this year. I have plays in mind, and both monologues and short stories have developed a habit of just cropping up, and demanding to be written, and this is the year I go back to novel-writing, as well. A good deal of writing, yes. And while I’m at it, perhaps book-lag/play-lag is not a bad thing to strive for.