Rather than drone on about my problems the way I usually do, I thought I’d shake things up by providing a…well, I’m not sure I’d call it a “useful service” but I guess I could call it a “possible contribution, maybe.” In other words, I thought I’d toss out an idea I had that would make for a wonderful book. One which I’m utterly incapable of writing, personally, but which I’d love to read.
This came up indirectly as I was working on my current piece. Shortly after I revealed the surprising news(?) that the late 30s rock star in a career downswing loves to play Atari games (it is set in 1984, mind you), I also found myself giving him a passion for Jane Austen novels. The reasoning made sense, though I’m not positive it lines up perfectly with everything that came before. (But I like it, so it’s staying anyway.)
Anyway, then I was thinking about ways to keep working with that — rather than simply leaving it as a throw-away aside — and came up with a conversation between him and his boyfriend where they’re discussing how people would have coped with non-standard sexualities back in that time period. I probably won’t actually write the conversation (it’s just one I thought of while I was trying to get to sleep the other night) because it would turn into a history lecture filled with information that neither of them realistically would know. (The boyfriend is a reporter, not a historian. And they’re both bisexual, rather than homosexual, so they would have had less impetus to have studied the history of the sexual persecution gays have faced over the centuries. Plus most of the scholarship on the subject was written post-1984.)
More importantly, I realized that it would be totally cool to read a book like that. It seems to be a Jane Austen-style drawing room story, only then we follow one of the handsome (because aren’t they all handsome?) gents home and find that he’s only doing what society tells him he’s supposed to, and that he actually loves another man.
For all I know, there are probably a lot of books like that out there already. (If there are, I’d love to be pointed towards some good ones!)
But if there aren’t already books like that out there, then there really need to be!
And I can’t possibly write one, because my writing lacks any emotional strength, depth or maturity. And this kind of book would need all three of those. Plus a level of research that I don’t have time for at present.