Sink or Swim

Two Roads

It’s Monday again. I wish there was some way to see what part of what stories and books were written on Mondays. I’m sure you’d find that it’s all the annoying parts with no point…and The Matrix sequels.

Anyway, I’m at a familiar enough crossroads. I can’t tell whether it’s time to shut up and dive into the story itself or if I should continue writing journal entries and toying with thoughts without actually engaging. It’s tough because I’ve never written this many stories in a row before. And of course this ridiculous deadline doesn’t help things. I can’t tell what’s normal. With the first two stories I had given them plenty of thought before this project started. They were sort of rolling around in the hopper (what is a hopper anyway) for awhile before hand so they were more or less fleshed out. Then, with the third story, I know I hadn’t actually written anything for the story until maybe the Friday before. I have a distinct memory of being on the subway and having my ending just solidify without warning and I knew it was time to actually start writing.

There’s a big difference between playing around in your journals and actually entering into the story. It’s hard to explain but I guess it’s sort of like rehearsal versus being on stage…sort of. I don’t act so I’m not sure if that works but the point is nothing is set while you’re still in your journal. You sort of toy around with it and tease out details and anything can be scratched at any point if you don’t like it and there aren’t any real consequences. Once you’re inside the story, though, everything’s different. It’s for real. Things are actually happening if that makes any sense and to go back and change things somehow lessons the immediacy of everything around it. I mean, it’s possible to add a new character or something, but it requires a lot of work, a lot of smoothing things over and over and sometimes that can weaken the story as a whole. Basically I don’t do a lot of changes once I start the ball rolling which is why I like to have some sort of basic skeleton set in my mind (so many metephors). Not that I always stick to that skeleton but it’s nice to have one.

That being said this entire last story came about after I starting writing for real. I had no skeleton. I just had the voice of one character and I wrote maybe a page or two that I realized was unnecessary introduction which got cut and then the whole thing slammed together once I figured out it was a duet of sorts.

The problem, as I said, is that I have no idea what’s normal at this point and no idea what works best and no idea if I should write in my journal tonight or start actually writing story. Unfortunately I don’t think the answer is resting in this blog. Also I’m really getting sick of coming up with titles for these posts. Oh well.