author’s note: almost there

after that last, incoherent author’s note about what exactly i do with my workdays, i thought i would try to be a little more forthright.  i find i self-censor when i’m writing on my blog, and that’s not going to get me very far.  i’m understandably paranoid about them coming to get me for saying things some people don’t want to hear, since it’s not a free country anymore.  so i find myself couching my words, using vague descriptions and rambling around instead of saying what i really mean.  and why am i pulling my punches?  it’s not going to make for a very entertaining story.  but i’m afraid of speaking my mind in this political climate.  it’s stupid, but there it is.  and i know i can’t let it silence me, the fear.  it just takes working up to.  forgetting my fears in the enthusiasm of what i’m doing.  i guess a period of self doubt and questioning is good as long as you’re not in the middle of creating the actual piece you’re working on.

this past week, with all the stuff happening around me, it’s seemed as if i’ve turned some sort of corner in this work.  i’ve rearranged a bunch of goals, like that professional development workshop i was going to do in june, and maybe even that artist residency in the fall, things that seemed so inevitable and important a few weeks ago.  i’ve lost a bit of passion and interest about my characters and plot development.  i’m still teasing out who did what when in the individual character documents, but it’s with a sense of detachment.

so i’m letting that sit.  i know my emotional makeup changes all the time, as does my health, and the shit hitting everybody’s fan in this year of great changes.  and i’m being flexible, because you don’t want to be fighting great change, you want to go where it bats you and try to keep from having your extremities torn off in the turbulence.

having arrived at the place where i had all the characters separated out and all their chapter outlines filled in, which is where i was the last time i wrote a post, i started recombining them this week.  chapters 1-7, the first section, have been added back into a new document, and i’ve been going thru it over and over, making all the chapters structured the same way (the same character order, basically, the same format conventions).

so now i’m going thru it over and over, reading it now, trying to see how it works as a chapter, trying to figure out what’s missing.  i still don’t have the tone of any chapter yet, or the point of view, or the descriptive voice.  i still don’t know how it’s going to work.  letting that bubble up is the next step.

actually, the next step is writing.  i’m as close as i’m going to get to writing the story as i can get without actually writing the story.  it’s as if i have done a bunch of preliminary sketches and some pastel studies, and am now ready to take charcoal in hand and start marking up my gessoed board.  the real painting.

i’m tempted to start now, without building any of the other sections.  why should i bother?  let them come together when i’m done with this section.  i could do that.  in fact, i started to this evening, and stopped after a sentence or two.  because i don’t know what tone to take.

the first chapter is a fairy tale, so it’s going to start ‘once upon a time’.  i guess.  unless something hits me and it all comes in a flash.  but i still don’t know how the story starts.

common advice is to start in the middle and get your voicebox clear and get your mind moving in the rhythm of the story.  and i could do that, i suppose.  i never have before.  what happens to me is that i rewrite whole sections.

once upon a time…

…there was a boy and a girl, and they partied a little too much at dragoncon, and went up on the roof to search for stars and wait for the good drugs to kick in…

…there was a vision, where a boy and girl went to paradise and played videogames…

…there was a huge game just for them, and they played all of creation…

…there was a bunch of stuff they were supposed to remember, important stuff…

…there was a strange message on the girl’s phone…

the interesting thing about this story is that each chapter is its own piece of work.  the tone of each of the first 7 chapters is very different from each other; each covers different things, and has a different pace, and reveals and points up different aspects. and i can sense that as i go thru the chapters over and over.  i get something like a tune going thru my head as i scan the notes for each chapter.  a melody maybe, or particular voices or a beat.  i’m sure i’ll hear it louder and more clearly when i start to write.

which will be any old time now.

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About jeanne

artist, grandma, alien

Posted on April 25, 2012, in author's note, plot. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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