Saturday, July 28, 2012

Where does creativity come from?

I have two friends who are currently arguing over gay marriage like fucking ninjas in a Bruce Lee movie. Philosophical grounds. Creativity doesn't come from the anger leveled at an opponent. That's my sister in the picture, back in her Elizabeth, New Jersey days. Nobody could ever make me as fucking furious as she could. I love her, but big sisters have a way...

It's not from anger; it's not from sorrow. It's not from any emotion whatsoever. There's a child in every good writer who sees the world they way he did when he was young, back when he was still asking questions. Mankind does not stagnate. It's not a zero-sum game. our perspective, yours and mine, is unique. There will never be another perspective like ours. Why not give the most honest testimonial to our experience on this Earth that we can? If we do that, you and me, those who can write well enough to express what we experience, others who've shared similar experiences, will appreciate what we say. the whole point of it is, is to express ourselves in a manner that draws as many people to our way of thinking, as possible. What do you think Harper Lee's sole book was all about? Creativity comes from the soul that wants to convince the reader. That and the need to pay the rent. Oi.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Feeling Strange

Maybe it's the post-reaching-the-climax blues, but I've got that funk tonight. The minight writer's blues. Those times when a writer's just sure he sucks, and no amount of cheerful encouragement will do anything about it. I'm pretty sure just about every writer gets this.

Got into an argument with a friend on a message board today because she mistook a joke I imparted for a slight on her. Saw some other friends post samples of their setting, and it got me to wondering if mine's too threadbare, even though I can't aford the words to build any more setting, not when I'm trying to slice words out.

There's no cure for this. No pill to take. Cookies and a hug won't do it. It's deep in the bones.

Janet Reid posted a very cool video recently. It's intersting to watch, and while it doesn't make one feel better about one's writing, it is cheerful enough to lighten one's mood. "One" being me.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mere Paragraphs from the Climax

There's a giddiness approaching the climax. There's still the Epilogue to do after this chapter, but reaching this point, reaching the "end" I'd set back in 2008 when I started this thing, the end I'd teamed with a beginning and a couple characters, not knowing what the journey there would look like, is unlike anything I've ever felt.

When I was in Rochester working for Diclemente and Volke, one of the owners, Gary, was building a little plane from a kit. I remember thinking how cool that was. How impressive that someone would painstakingly, over the years, piece together a plane. It elevated Gary in my eyes. He didn't spend his free time watching television, in fact, he hardly ever seemed to sit still.

But something bothered me. Any time I'd bring up the plane, Gary would bitch about the process of putting it together. It didn't sound right to me. I thought he was dishing out mock humility. How could anyone doing something so cool bitch about it, right? Man, now I know. The process is brutal. Something that takes years to complete, sets the carrot far, far down the road. It feels like it'll never be done. Well, it's not done yet, but it's zipping now. There won't be another word of complaint from me...Well, maybe once I start editing, but I've been doing a fair amount of editing as I go, so that shouldn't be too bad.

I'm not smart enough to assemble a plane. That's over my head. But reaching the climax of a novel I started 4 years ago, feels rewarding. It's a thrill. So this is what it feels like? Cheers. Fucking, cheers.
I love these little moments of solitude. The little one-man parties.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Big things come in little steps

It's fascinating to go to the Smithsonian and see man's progression through the flight age. From bi-planes to Sputnik to the space shuttle, Each step improved on what had come before it. Okay, I was going to compare writing a book to building the space shuttle, buuuut I won't. It just feels like it for me.

I just finished a chapter, so I have two to go. This last one was tough. There's so much shit flying around, I'm terrified the reader might get confused and thus bored. I think I prepared the reader for this point, but the plot threads are a little like when girls skip rope with two girls holding two  or three ropes with a girl in the middle hopping. The reader has to hop plot threads. We'll see when I test it out. I kinda wanted it to be like an emotional fireworks finale. Hope it doesn't come off like a kindergarten, kids crying in the corner and little Willie throwing up on little Tina.

This chapter was rough. I ran into something I hadn't anticipated back when I decided to change it from 3rd to 1st. When you're in 1st, and your MC is confused and flustered, the narrative has to give that sense as well, and I wasn't quite prepared for how hard that is to pull off without confusing the shit out of the reader, especially when you've already got a shitload of stuff going on in that chapter. The reader is going to want the thing to focus on the primary plot line, but if the MC can't focus like a normal person would, neither should you. Toughest scenes in the book to write so far.

One more tough chapter like this one, then the epilogue. The epilogue should be a snap. It's pretty straight forward.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Smithsonian

So, there I am in front of the SR-71 at the Smithsonian today. The biggest, coolest plane ever made IMO.

I've been to that museum several times now, with different people each time, and each time someone likes something different. Some love the Shuttle Discovery, some the Enola Gay. Each plane captures the imagination in a different way, and there's no accounting for why some love one and others love a different one. Thing is, everyone who goes there loves planes. How's this applicable to books? Everyone who reads books, loves books. it's just a matter of which story they choose to read. You know the planes people like the most? Complex, advanced, sleek, powerful, sexy, scary. Sound familiar?