Archive for October, 2003

Some more on writing

Tuesday, October 14th, 2003

So I actually did do some writing yesterday, I was very proud of myself. Actually I was very frustrated with myself for getting like half a page revised without adding any real new material to the piece I was working on. I give myself a little lee-way with this particular piece since it is by nature very slow going. But I did really sit down and work on it for over an hour without playing solitare and for this I can rejoice.

This new story (new in relation to the aforementioned novel, which is four years old) is a kind of attempt to explain insane behavior in a story form that will make sense to a more logical kind of mind. I took one character with a series of rather common but sparsely understood behaviors and split it into six parts, each representing a different traits and tendancies. I have found this model to be very effective in expressing the feelings and thoughts that go into extreme coping mechanisms. It is also confusing as I’ll get out. This is worse even than the story I was trying to write backwards.

So I have this one scene plotted out in my head, and I have loosely chosen the main character that will be appearing. But I find myself saying something like, ‘hope and anger fought within her’ and realize that that’s a totally ambiguous statement that doesn’t really express anything, and there is no need for such a statement since I have already created characters that represent hope and anger. Which begs the question, when did those two show up? What are they saying? Are they actually fighting with each other? What would that look like? Is there some signifcance in two of the stronger personalities being there together that I need to put emphasis on? Should one of them be the main character instead of the one I’ve chosen? Will the reader be able to follow a three-way conversation that takes place outside of the actual scene and still know what’s going on?

This is how, in three simple steps, you can spend an hour and a half revising half a page, then seriously consider going back and changing it again.

This is why I am so darn picky about dialogue and plot points in movies and books. It is absolutely incomprehensible to me how a person could write something and put it out there for the public to see with a host of weak places in the text. Which is probably why I don’t really write for the public anymore.

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