another try at the first chapter
Posted by jeanne
i’ve been spending the in-between moments, the reverie before sleep, trying to work thru the first chapter, which is the vision, the fairy tale, the symbol of this story i’m working on. and it, more than anything, is the part where i get cosmic help, where my steps are directed from the place where miracles happen. this may be too new age for some of you, but i’m a recovering newager, and it’s been many years since i took a drink.
i might as well say inspired.
this is the part where i get inspired. this first chapter is more like poetry, more like a painting. more like a short film. a cartoon.
anyway, i’m trying to distill everything i feel about what this story is into one little fairy tale. i’m trying to let this part of it tell me. and so i’m meditating on it every time i lay down to go to sleep, and often reflect on it during my day. and things have been coming in differently than when i first thought up this vision the boy and girl share.
they learn to fly. they’re up on the roof sleeping it off, and the angel comes along, pokes them, sprinkles fairy dust on them, and directs them to the second star on the right, then decides to go down off the roof and join the party. their first flight takes them as far as the next skyscraper, where they leave a mark that they’d been there, and take a picture with the girl’s phone. their next flight is smoother, and by the time they get to morning they’re expert beginning fliers, tho she has trouble staying aloft. they approach a planet, that turns into a moon as they get closer, then an island, a lake, a pond, a pool, a plate, a reflection in a bubble, a molecule, an atom. that’s too far, so they back up until it’s an island again, and park themselves on a cloud, where the angel joins them.
i’m not clear on this part yet, but the angel gives, shows, or teaches them a bunch of powers to make, name, create, speak into being. the angel tells them all they see is theirs to do with what they wish, and then goes off somewhere while they do what they wish with the place. the angel comes back to find them wasting their time playing idle games and lying on the couch all day, so they get kicked out to do it for real, steal a feather and a sword, and go off to have their antarctic adventures.
i’m not sure how to handle this part, but they spend a lot of time going thru antarctica having adventures, like the most involved and intricate videogame ever, but it’s much more real.
i’m not sure how to get to this part, but in the end, they both have the sensation that they are just lying there, the essence of antarctica, as if their very bodies formed the land masses and seas of antarctica, the soil, the mountains, as if every particle of their bodies were players, teeming over the archipelago and continent, playing the most real videogame ever, thinking they were individual players while actually being nerve endings of the boy and girl who were actually lying comatose on a rooftop.
i was just reading max barry’s latest – machine man – a realistic look at corporate values. he did his first draft online, just like i’ve done. but he posted his day’s work every day, while i tend to produce a chapter at a time, so as not to really frustrate readers. but you know what, nobody reads the creative work on this blog. the only thing that gets views on this blog is the post on pirate maps. when i wrote my first online first draft, splat, i envisioned writing and rewriting online, so that every draft, every change would be visible. and that lasted about a minute, as i realized i’d be reworking the same chapter 20 times or more until i was satisfied with it. sure, it would be fascinating to see a chapter go from outline to polished draft (oxymoron). but all the mess in between – how many times does anybody want to see the same ten pages tweaked and rehashed? it’s boring enough for me, why should you, deareader, have to put up with it as well? why can’t you have the pleasant task of reading it when i’m thru fucking with it? that’s why i publish when i’ve got it down. because it takes a long time to whip a ten-page chapter into shape. because i’m sitting there waiting until it comes thru like a radio station before writing it down, and then when i’m finished with that bit i tune in for some more. and when it’s to a stopping point, say, the end of the chapter, i stop, and edit it, and make it worth reading.
i guess i can do that online as well. so that’s kind of a plan. i’m going to publish it as i’m writing it, f’real. cool. i’d been thinking about this for the last few months, and i’m glad i’ve been inspired to some sort of resolution. thanks max barry.
on another tack, i think i’m going to start a new blog for the story. this is primarily because the name of the blog is ‘my pirate novel’ and i’m not as it turns out writing a pirate novel. piracy only has a small tiny bit to do with what i’m writing. so i’d like to have a blog title that reflects my actual story.
trouble is, of course, that i don’t know the title, any more than i know the names of the boy and the girl. for some reason, these seem to be very elusive, or important, or stubborn, or something. but i still don’t have names for them. the working title of the story is quantum antarctica, or q-antarctica, or q-ant, and the name of the videogame is the game. in fact, when i posted a synopsis awhile back, i got a case of paranoia that made me change all the keywords to things like badguys(tm) and s/f*fancon, so i’m not entirely sure on even the larger concepts, as far as names go.
anyway, these are the kinds of little things i get to deal with.