Friday, June 4, 2010

The acme wheel

I'm learning again. Growing, too.Which also means I'm sort of failing. It's the first of a new month, at least it was earlier this week. Naturally, I thought it was a good time to pull the trigger on this new novel. I had my outlines, character synopses, motivations, sketches. I knew who was who, who was where, where was what, all that jazz.  And *counts fingers* four days later I'm more or less where I was when I began. I even started the day with a facebook status message before spitting in my hands and rubbing them together (that's how it's done, right?). Then I jumped. And now, I'm doing my impression of Wile. E. Coyote at the drawing board, tapping my foot in consternation. 

More specifically, my explanation to a friend was "the problem is that it's a fantastical situation, so [certain] things get thrown out the window, but in the vacuum I've created, the assertions [that I'm trying to put forth] don't have legs." That, also didn't make sense, so I went through a conversation about stories and their internal logic and the foundational principles that anything (that's intended to make sense) needs to "make sense." I examined a wooden board on the side of this thing I've built and realize it's wrong, along with the nail I used, and the support beam the nail was hammered into, etc. 

Something I knew about myself already was that I start slow. Maybe in life (isn't that proving to be true) and certainly in something like this. Once I've established a rhythm, become comfortable with a pace, I can live in it, and stay there until I'm done. But the beginning is like the first night in a strange setting: I spend restless hours rolling around with not a lot getting accomplished. And during the next day, I gripe about it all being a waste of time. 

In other news, I have shameless self-promotion in the form of a link. I belong to 'groups' which allow for 'networking' which have produced 'opportunities.' Guest blogging is what it's called, and I embraced embracing new experiences and tried it. I wanted to know what the details were, why people did it, and how it worked. As you might imagine, there's somewhat of a demand of staying within the lines. I've done it twice, and in the second instance when I asked what sort of stuff the person was looking for, I was cautioned to stay away from provocative things like race, politics and religion. If I have a haughty tone, it is purely hypocritical. When I myself had words that touched on such things, I passed the words onto a friend for his blog, in an effort not to offend others.

But, overall, the message I take away from this is perseverance. Talking with another writing friend, I asked him how he gets from idea to a draft he's happy with. He gave me a really eloquent and metaphorical description that wasn't really helpful. I told him my method was to beat my face against it until it looked right. Which of course could either be my improving it, or using the resulting delirium to reconsider the genius of my words. When considering a whimsical title for this latest entry, I thought to conflate snowballing and a snowball's chance in hell, but instead (since I'm growing) I thought to go with something more optimistic. 

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