Writing Process: No More Speechifying

I have a tendency towards giving my characters speeches, or speechifying, as Tommy calls it. And it’s no good. It slows the narrative and, in the end, offers very little about the character. It’s really just me using them for my soapbox.

“To the mighty and fine Apollo.” Fitz raised his glass. “I look out at that river of ice out your backyard and think about those giants of millennials ago pushed off into the Davis Strait and into the great Atlantic, some of them the size of city blocks, whole towns, buildings and all, tankers, battleships, luxury liners, the works. They’re an impressive fleet, an impenetrable flotilla at the outset, only to gradually break apart, one from the other, going out into the bay, the strait, the ocean, down past Twillin’. But then they all come apart, not just one from the other, but the thing from itself. These mighty giants go out on their quest, out into the great unknown, just to dissolve, become bits and pieces, and then the water, gone like that. Seems to me that they might have a fate more suitable than that.” He opened another beer. “We’ll have another drink with you, and then we’ll be off.”

Id on Parade

Writing is a spew of the subconscious, or at least a myriad of that, mostly the id. That’s where the core is of what I refuse to realize I am, that fear and pain and stupidity that make me so unique and nothing at all.

It doesn’t mean much of anything. I am alone in this. Except when I write it down here.

Writing Process: Knowing the Story

You think you know something and then you don’t. All stories are only that. He wakes up to some party or hands held out and then he has to do something alone not because he believes in life or strength but because he was lost.

It is as simple as sitting on the fire escape or the corner that he knows and remembering that no one was there for him but paid for her mistakes. She tried. Or she didn’t. But he just has to carry on and become something new from that.

Writing Process: At a Loss. And Then What?

I am coming to the end of Anori, Draft #5, a process that has taken ten months. I have had some satisfying moments – tightening up narrative, deleting unnecessary characters and scenes, building the arc and all of that – but it feels almost pointless in the end.

I will be hiring an editor once again. I will see what advice is there to get this thing published. After all, it has been some eight years since I started. It was called The Ark, and it seemed so remarkable to me at that time. It feels more a cage now, with Dee and the others just screaming to get out.

Virile

The thing is that you are here, simply and wildly so, what the beat guys said, that raw repetitive thing. You think you belong here and you do. You came to this place and were ready for it or not at all. On the edge of knowing. That is all there could possibly be. Almost there. Virile. All of that in you. One long impossible note.

And you think there should be more – because in all of that might be ahead and has been seen by you, by you!, the sheer cliffs, the little kids, everything tiny, remembering a mistake, lost, incredibly, delightfully so, and not in a memory, not a precise known thing, cherished, forgotten, that thing so exquisite as it must be known, there, waiting – and it isn’t.

And so there is that, the king of the universe in the hallway, flames coming out like they should, no understanding for the what or why of it, that nightmare you slip into and live in, there, acting like you are half sleep and probably are. And how did you get to that? Meandering, fine and easy. That is what you say and almost think at the end of it.

Bio Tuesday: The Sacred Whore

The Sacred Whore is my first novel, the story of a group of prostitutes who kidnap a college basketball team to air their views on the dismal morality in the United States. It has its moments, mostly characters realizing themselves. But more than that, it was the dogged focus of getting those 446 pages written. And then transcribed to 706 pages, typed, double-spaced. And then edited down to 432. And again down to 365. And then adapted into a screenplay. And to have both rejected again and again. A harbinger of what writing would come to be.