Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Second Album

I've always been interested in hearing the second album by anyone. The general consensus is that the debut album by anyone is going to be the killer - it's generally the best material culled from the writing/touring stage and it's just the best of everything. The second album, the follow-up, generally consists of what didn't make the grade for the debut. Examples of this include Boston's Second Coming (half an album really) and U2's October. Despite having some solid material in the form of Gloria, Tomorrow and the title track, October is nowhere near as good as Boy. On the flip-side are albums like Led Zeppelin II and Queen II - both far superior to their respective debuts.

So what's the point of this? I'm now experiencing the former problem. I'm currently writing my second book, a biography of Jim Mooney, and I've stopped dead. I'm thinking my biggest problem is that I've started this book in the same style that I did for the Andru/Esposito book. But it's not working. All I feel I'm doing is merely transcribing tapes and just, well, coasting along. The Andru/Esposito book took over 18 months to write, the Mooney book I've been working on for two months now and it's about a fifth finished. You'd think I'd be happy?

Nope. Writers block. I've articles to write for Alter Ego, Back Issue and Charlton Spotlight, along with the Mooney book, and I can't get anything going. I've spent the morning working on the Mooney and I don't feel I've gotten out of first gear. I need suggestions - how do I get past this writers block? My initial thought is to scrap what I've done so far, take the raw material and attempt an entirely new aproach to what I'm doing. Just pick up a new style, adapt and allow it to come to me, instead of me going to it. The problem is, where do I start? I hate biographies that people write like they were there (you know, "And then Freddie thought, 'Bloody Nora, look at the size of that gherkin!' and decided that he just had to have it." - like you know someone's thoughts and intentions? Nope, you don't especially if you've never met them, or weren't there) when they weren't, but then Jim is telling me what I need to know. However I don't want this book to read like I just transcribed it.

Oh bloody hell. Help me, Rhonda!

On a good note, my mother, who once told me not to read comic books when I was younger because they'd lead nowhere, spent a fair bit of time reading the Andru/Esposito book while she was here. Mind you I have to thank her for insisting that I read non-fiction books instead of comic books as it's served me well.

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