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.