Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Sometimes I am asked what I am writing currently and sometimes I have an answer and sometimes I don't. Right now I do, and this causes a few hurdles to appear: 1) my creativity comes in waves, 2) Sometimes working is like rolling a big fucking rock up a goddamned hill and 3) I get bogged down in the details and that shit kills the whole mood and sets me into the last and worst part, 4) This isn't working, this is fucked, I should just sell shoes.

Right now I'm at three and deathly afraid of four, holding it back with a sweaty forearm as it tries to gnaw my face with great big pointy teeth. The last day I worked was Sunday, and I was off yesterday and today and that means that building up to this lag in work duties I said to myself "you will write during that time, make some ground, get the ball rolling on this idea before you lose it, set it before you forget it," which of course means that I actively avoided doing any writing Sunday after work and yesterday. Yet today I felt like writing. I thought about it throughout two conversations this morning, a re-watch of the Avengers, and some basic reading and videos that reminded me of why I like writing (they were incidental, I don't have a video bank or reading go-tos to get me motivated) and so I took a shower, blasted The Faces and started writing.

Well, I say I started, and I did, but the basic plot I had before me (I felt) demanded that I describe the town layout. I'm not sure why, but I wanted to get it straight because later it might come in handy to not have a thousand street names flying around. The town setting is really basic (it's not even really a town, more like a neighborhood) and only has four or five streets and one feature that is intrinsic to the plot later (way later) in the story. So you're thinking, "draw a map and get on with it." Good advice. But I didn't want to draw it on paper, because I have a habit of losing paper left around anywhere, so I tried to draw it on the Outline I wrote for the story. And since I'm me, I used this opportunity to try and familiarize myself with the drawing function in Pages (my current text editor for my Mac). This ended up taking waaaaaaay too long and became a bit extravagant as I looked up names for the streets that had some sort of group meaning (because I named the first street Wyatt, I named them after other gunslingers. Of course I know a bunch of them but could think of exactly zero past the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday when I wanted names). It took me a few minutes but eventually I got the names, and tried to set them to the roads I had drawn. Yeah. That didn't really happen. Eventually I became super-fucking-frustrated with the map I was drawing, how I couldn't write sideways, how there was some sort of layer issue that put text boxes over each other and wouldn't allow me to write IN a circle I drew. In other words, I got bogged down in the details. My second roadblock came when I had a group of soccer players practicing for a game the next day, but my brain immediately thought "What day is it (in the story?)" and since this is a pretty important detail (only because of the fucking soccer team I just invented and how they wouldn't have a game on a weekday) the whole thing spiralled out of control into "you don't know what the fuck you're doing, do you?" thoughts that are always ridiculous and a sure-fire sign of me giving up. And that is the dangerous area right in front of 4).

The biggest problem with ANY of this is really that they aren't even important. What is important are the characters, the situations they get into and how they squirm out of them. It doesn't fucking matter what the streets are named, it doesn't matter if the events happen on a Sunday, Saturday, or some made up day like Misurgsday, just that they fucking happen and make sense. But my brain gets caught in a loop on the "make sense" part of the equation, and in the summer, most soccer games happen on a Sunday, and all towns have street names. So these things must be addressed, but unlike the feelings, thoughts, movements and processes of humans and their interactions with each other, I cannot just pluck them from the air and make them real. I get bogged down in them* and the whole process shuts down. 

So my plan is currently to decompress and relax a bit. I've got the ball rolling, I just need to figure out the stupid day-of-the-week thing and move on. And there it is, moving on. The simplest solution to the heaviest of problems. Ugh. 

The answer is keep truckin, I guess. I can't say it'll get better because I've walked away from stories because of these seemingly tiny issues, if only because it takes me out of the story and then I'm done. I cant get the flow of storytelling when I'm worried about Soccer games not happening on Wednesday--it sticks in my mind and just rusts out everything I think about. SO I'm going to go eat something and figure out the day of the week, fix it if necessary or ignore it if I can, and get back to work. I'm 760 words below my daily minimum, and since I skipped the last two days, thats really more like 2,760 but I'm okay if I can make 1,000 today. So that's it. that's the plan. Okay. Let's do this.


*The worst thing is names. I can't name my characters anything without long-winded conversations in my head about how I don't want them to be named after people I know, but can't all be named Oswald and Elwood and George. Luckily, this time names were cake, somehow.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments:

Post a Comment