Somewhere between mass and energy.

So I’ve really got nothing. Almost. I’ve basically got a couple of flashes of a character, as I mentioned, but really that’s it. I sort of made it sound like I had lots of pieces of this character worked out but I don’t. At all. I have one vision of him at a wedding, and I think he’s wearing glasses. And I think he’s sort of short. Kind of turtle looking. And really that’s it. I’m going to make a story out of that. And I’m thinking about this and it occurs to me, as I’m sure it occurred to you, that writing is a lot like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Right? I’m sure that’s where you thought I was going with this. Come on, you were like maybe one step behind me there.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, based on my rather half-baked knowledge of quantum physics, states that it is impossible to ever know, with perfect accuracy, both the position and the direction of a subatomic particle. Basically if you’re going to be real real precise with your measurements, you need to shine some form of energy (like a wave of light) at the subatomic particle, and if you get the sucker’s location down pat then you’ve applied so much energy you’ve knocked it into an unknowable course, and if you take ‘er easy and just get a real good idea of it’s momentum, then you’ll never know exactly where it is. And that’s writing.

Sometimes you’ve got everything worked out and every plot point drawn out in an outline and every character perfectly sketched in your notes and then when you go to write it it’s perfectly boring. You’ve no longer got momentum. And sometimes you’ve got nothing but momentum and energy but no idea where you and and you go to write it and you’ve got to dance all night with your story and face the fact that it’s more in control than you are and deal with the perfectly wild fear of putting all of your faith into the unknown. Usually with that second option I wind up cutting large parts of what I’ve written and just tossing them by the second draft. But those are your two basic options. Naturally, there are also all kinds of happy mediums, but really they’re all just compromises between how much energy you want and how much structure you want. Get some studio to work out exactly what story they want to tell, and you get a formulaic movie with no pop. Get some indie writer to just take the ball and run with it, and you get some crazy unsellable story that might be a masterpiece or might be masturbation. You never know. Somewhere in between, even just the slightest bit of breathing room for the unknown to creep in, or the most basic of ideas of where you’re going, and then I usually think things wind up much better. But…well…those are your two ends of the spectrum. And I’m currently way the hell over towards energy with not the slightest clue where I’m at.

Wish me luck.

Amazingly it still hasn’t sunk in that I have to write yet another story.

I’m basically out of ideas. I have one very very thin notion tha t might become a story, but that’s it. It’s really only a character study, but I guess I have to run with it. Hopefully I’ll get some more ideas here soon. Somehow. Otherwise this is going to get a little pathetic. I’m going to go sit on a park bench and people watch. That usually helps. Can’t beat Manhattan for that. Except maybe parts of Europe. This is riveting.

Two down…

I’m not going to say much about this story. I’m pretty certain there won’t be a recap. I’d like to leave this gruelling piece of work behind me, thank you. Really the only thing I want to say is to the readers who only have Liquid Calling as a sample of what I write. I tend to bounce around from genre to genre, you”ll figure that out over the course of the year, but considering my first (and for some only) story was what it was I feel obligated to tell you that there is no huge twist or strange deaths coming in this story. I really only mention it because I know that sometimes you can get your wheels spinning thinking you’re seeing clues that aren’t there and then you get to the end and you’ve missed the whole story because you’re waiting for the twist. I’m not saying I play this one entirely straight, far be it from me to ever do that, but there’s no giant plot twist. It just is what it is. Sort of.

On a technical note, I’ve implemented a “See More” break a few paragraphs into the story. This is to avoid having a giant six thousand word post in the middle of my blog. Hopefully I did this right and it doesn’t mess anything up.

Also I’ve added a separate “Stories” category. Now you can either go to one particular story and see all the blogging that leads up to it as well as any follow up, or you can go to the “Stories” category and just see all the stories lined up. Hopefully that will make this a little easier, but I’m pretty sure this is bound to get messy by the time I’ve got twenty-six stories floating around on here.

Oh, and this one really came down to the wire so I’m pretty sure there are some typos in there. If you see one please let me know, you can just post it in a comment. I can delete them once I’ve corrected the typos so there won’t be a bunch of outdated comments.

Anyway, happy reading.

First draft for Marathon is done.

This story has whooped up on me in so many different ways I’ve completely lost objectivity. I have no idea if this turned out well or not. Not to mention the fact that this is going to require an ungodly amount of rewriting because it was basically two different stories butting heads with each other for a good long while. I don’t know. It’s one-thirty now and I’ve got the day off tomorrow. Hopefully some sleep and the light of morning will help me make some sense of this. I’m heading to bed.

It’s possible I just woke up my neighbor.

I think I mentioned on here how great a feeling it is to finally finish a story. I can now mention from experience how far in the opposite direction the feeling is that comes after you finish a story and then Word closes and you lose your entire night’s work. I feel like I just got turned inside out. I have no idea what to do right now. I tried swearing really really loudly but that didn’t do much. Then I tried going through the various file recovery things that Word offers but that didn’t work either, so I wound up swearing some more. It’s gone. Everything I wrote tonight.

Writing this actually helped calm me down a bit but I’m not sure if I’m supposed to work through it all again which means I’ll be rushing and frustrated and sloppy and skip over some things but that I’ll have more editing time, or if I should let it rest tonight and rewrite it tomorrow night which means damned little rewrite time.

This has been a rather trying story. It’s fitting in a lot of ways.

Just have to walk it home now.

The ending for this story clicked in the subway tonight. I was about two stops from home and suddenly there it was. The ending and the last few steps leading up to it. It’s a nice feeling when that finally happens and you can stop blundering around in the dark and start working towards something. Naturally I only have three days to get it there but I guess you can’t have everything. At least I can stop wavering back and forth and picking away at the various characters and just try to walk them home…assuming I can come up with those intermediary steps. They can be rough sometimes. I’ve just got a little sliver of daylight now but at least I stand a chance of making it if I run. Here goes.

Recap for Liquid Calling

I have my reservations about commenting like this. It’s difficult for me to do since most things I’ve learned in the past few years have taught me that commenting on what I’ve written usually doesn’t have the intended effect. I’ve seen too many interesting conversations dry up and too many interesting theories fade once I make an entrance to actually think that this is a good idea. The fact is, I think, that once the author chimes in people stop thinking whatever they were thinking and just go along with what the author says. Which is annoying. I have some inside information, obviously, but that doesn’t mean I know what you see when you read what I’ve written. In other words, I like it when new ideas are brought to my attention, I like seeing what other people make out of my details, I like hearing new theories about what I’ve written. I find it interesting. I believe strongly that the conversation that comes after reading a story is as much the point as anything. Unfortunately, I’ve seen nothing more effective at shutting down those conversations than me saying, “Here’s what I think.” Basically it seems as if I’m not allowed to play.Read more

Sisyphus was a pansy.

I’m nowhere with this story. The choice I was talking about yesterday still exists…do I abandon my original idea and run with something that’s more me right now or do I stretch myself, most likely, too thin and try to dredge up the original concept. This is why it’s good to write something rather quickly or forget about it entirely. You see, because this story has been sitting in my head for a good three years now I started to fall in love with the way I saw it shaping up. I thought I had a good match between my setting and story and characters. Only, now, sitting here, I keep trying to pin down the original concept and it keeps slipping away.

Basically the story (as all stories) is a couple of characters hashing out their problems. And I’ve forgotten my in to those problems.

Now see if you can follow this. To write sad you need to be sad. Not through the entire story, but you need somewhere to hang your hat. You need a seed. You need a good base. Truthfully it’s a lot like my understanding of how method actors work. When you need sad you dig up sad and you, very very carefully, begin to hang ornamentation on it, dressing it up for your character, and if you do it gently enough you can take the original lump of sad and massage into a living breathing person. And I had the perfect lumps of sad for these various characters, a different little mental paper cut for all of them, but I’ve lost it. Sort of. The thing is, as I mentioned, I fell in love with this damned story in my head over the course of the past few years, so over the past two days I keep going around and around the same loop. Either I decide to forget the old concept, which I love, because I can’t find the sad. Only this has yet to fail to make me a little sad. So then I start to think, hey, I’ve got a decent lump of sad now, maybe I can work with this, at which point I mentally switch over to maybe trying the old concept, which cheers me up immediately. I can’t think of a more perfect impossible situation.

Granted I could just turf this to the side and write some garbage, but I’m not real keen on that idea.

Whatever, I’m going to try listening to Coldplay.

F&%$

I’m completely blocked up. This story could go two ways and I can’t figure out which way to take it and it’s driving me a little insane. I had an idea of what I wanted to do with this story and especially this setting, but considering what’s come out of me already taking the story to that idea would mean a lot of patchwork and it feels like I’d end up slapping something onto the story that isn’t really there. On the other hand, I could follow where the story is leading, but I’m worried that this isn’t the right choice, only the easy choice. I don’t know if the story is going in this new direction because of the format of this project or because I no longer have that first idea in me or because I see an easy path. Also, I’m not sure the new idea fits in with the setting as well as my old idea. And I’m completely blocked up about this.

Two night ago I was tossing in bed and I had it, I had it perfectly, I remember thinking that I should get up and write “it” down but I didn’t…I rarely, if ever, do that. My thinking is always that if I can’t recreate whatever thought I had through the actual process of writing, then that thought didn’t belong in the story to begin with. I definitely feel like I lose out on some well worded phrases with this philosophy, but I usually am okay with that because the stories tend to run smoother. What’s happened here, though, is that what “it” is has been redefined between the night I couldn’t sleep and right now. Basically I’m no longer sure what “it” is. I’ve completely lost my way. I don’t even think there’s a right choice to be found here. It’s a little scary.

Ice Road Truckers?

I’m pretty sure the Discovery Channel and the History Channel are just making up occupations now so they can have subjects for new shows. They take a couple of crazy bastards, put them into some sort of transportation device, get Mike Roweto narrate and call it a day. Next they’ll have guys driving trains into live volcanoes to harvest, I dunno, lava bugs or something. You wait. It’s coming.

Anyway. I’ve mentioned this before but writing on Monday is a pretty awful experience. There’s (I’m listening to a song about corduroy pants right now….very odd) very little pop in the air on Monday nights. It’s just so boring. Maybe this will get easier when football starts again.