A side project of a different kind.

I’ve been thinking about the future a lot over the past few days. As I draw closer to finalising the edit of my manuscript before I send it off into the literary world, my mind has started to wander to the projects that lay ahead of me now that I have completed a script that has been six years in the making. I have just a few precious days left labouring over the manuscript that has come to be known as Midas, and after that I will delve straight into part two of what is set to be a four novel saga. And from where I sit right now, in front of a blank document that awaits my mind’s eye to weave a gripping tale of destruction and woe, the future appears to be full of possibility.

While I am in the very early stages of planning this novel and researching exactly what I need to in order to construct a compelling read, there are a few certainties that I have already locked into place. While I would love to sit here and outline exactly what I have planned, I feel that doing so would take away from the beauty of Midas when it (hopefully) makes it into print in the near future. So for now, all I will say is that I have settled on the name of what will hopefully be one of my two protagonists and the character histories of two new antagonists who will elevate my script to a whole new level.

But even as my mind is feverishly creating these fantastic characters, scenes and plotlines, I can’t seem to ignore that little voice inside my head that is urging me to branch out, take on a side project, and start dabbling in alternate genres. A while back I quoted comic book writer Alan Moore, stating that to be a successful writer you need to immerse yourself in the least desirable element and swim. To dive head first into ideas and genres that are foreign to your talents in order to continually develop as a writer. It is an idea that I have used before to great success, this very blog was a product of Moore’s ideals, and now after a considerable number of posts it is continually gaining momentum and humbling its creator every single day. So, if I was to create a side project; something to dabble with while I continue to develop the ongoing saga that I have started, what genre would I choose to write in? Well, as crazy as it seems (and trust me, it’s fucking ridiculous), I want to write a love story.

Every single thing I have ever written has been written with a view to please myself. A view to create something that I would love to read if it were ever presented to me in print. So as a young male, my stories are almost always fast paced, incorporating elements such as sex, murder, drugs, and all round debauchery and mayhem.  So, imagine the effort it would take for me to generate a piece of work that focuses almost entirely on the intricacies of man and woman, and the delicate unfurling rose that is their courtship. In all honesty it wouldn’t be the first time that I have tried to write such a story; I have been down this path a few times before. Twice I have submitted university assessments based loosely around love and romance; however both were labelled as vulgar, sexist, and downright offensive by my tutors. Apparently there is something taboo about creating a love story that ends with the female cutting out the male’s heart and burying it in her back yard….

Obviously I know my place in the literary world; I know that I am not going to be the next Nicholas Sparks, and nor do I want to be. Rather I want to take the ideals of the classic love story and breathe new life into a genre that has been beat down by writer after writer cashing in on society’s desire to feel in order to make a quick buck. I still want the piece to feel like a Chris Nicholas artwork. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll will still feature heavily in any work I produce at this stage of my writing evolution, but I want it to do so in a manner that aids the story, rather than defining it.

But this idea, this love story, if it is ever to come to fruition, will never be more than a side piece. My heart and my head are still firmly embedded within the saga that I have begun. Midas is a piece of writing that I will forever hold close to my heart, but it is merely the beginning of a journey that will (figuratively) bring the world of my characters to its knees.

Author: Chris Nicholas

Chris Nicholas is an author from Brisbane, Australia. He has published two novels, and is currently working on his third.

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