Normally, at this point in a weekend when I’ve written not one new speck, I’m fairly suicidal.
For whatever reason, though, I’m not. I think that’s because there have to be some weekends–some days–that are just made for thinking and recharging…but mainly, for thinking.
As I think I said last week or the week before, you slow down when you realize that that ideas you had for how something should go start to veer off-course. You HAVE to think about how the story should unfold and what’s really happening because you can’t write the sequences or even foreshadow well, if you can’t know. I was re-reading The Shining the other day and realized that King had foreshadowed what would come later very, very early on. Now, he couldn’t possibly have known that Jack Torrence would be swinging a sledge-hammer and shouting for Danny to come take his medicine at the beginning of the book; he just couldn’t. I don’t know of any writer who could. What that means, though, is that when King got to the point where he saw where this was going–and not just the sledgehammer sequence but the vignette of that hornets’ nest (and, yes, that’s there, too, early on)–he went back and added, or he went back and rewrote large swathes to make this all weave together.
So, for me at this point, it comes down to WHY things are unfolding the way they are. WHY is a certain locale this way? WHY is this the only way things could go? I am certain I have wrestled with this before in other books, but it always feels new, like I’ve never done it before and so seems to be an insurmountable task.
But I really couldn’t keep writing–flailing–without knowing.
So that’s why this weekend–these boots–were made for thinking.
Do I think I know now? Yes. Is it something around which I’ve been circling for a while and keep coming back to? Yes. Can I write that part of the book now? Probably not without a touch more preparation. OTOH, I can write around it. I remember that Jay Asher talked about that for 13 Reasons Why: that he wrote the two narratives separately and then wove them together. I can see that. I have never DONE that, but I understand how it could be done. The trick now is to do that, or try that.
It will, of course, means revisiting chapters much as King must have done to make everything flow. But that really is the craft of writing.
WRITING OUT LOUD
Stay Dead (started 5/05; Days 1-4, false start)
Day 1: 1000 Day 23-26: 9450 Day 51-52: 4500
Day 2: 1200 Day 27: (novella) 2000 Day 53-57: 6000
Day 3: 1800 Day 28: 2500 Day 58-61: 10,200
Day 4: 1350 Day 29-32: 8850 Day 62-67: 11,250
Day 5: 1000 Day 33: 3400 Day 68-74: 16,110
Day 6: 2000 LONDON HIATUS (13 days)
Day 7-10: ~4500 Day 34: 3000 Day 75-79: 11,900
Day 11-12: ~5000 Day 35-39: 9,800
Day 13: 1600 Day 40-43: 10,500
Day 14: 2300 Day 44: 2000
Day 15-17: 4450 Day 45-47: 6000
Day 18-19: 4500 Day 48: 4000
Day 20-22: 5220 Day 49-50: 3500
What I’m Watching: Saw MI:5 (Rogue Nation) this week. I’ve seen it before, but–man–did I enjoy that movie. So much fun, and I desperately need to add fun into my vocabulary. I think I also caught up on Motive (just a few episodes). Then went out today and saw a splendid movie, Hell or High Water. This is a very good film: somewhat quiet in some ways and a film you’ve seen, sort of, but Chris Pine was really quite good and Jeff Bridges was just a treat. (If that man doesn’t get a nomination for this, I’ll be hornswoggled.) Did I see what would happen a mile off? Sure, but the husband didn’t and so I think it’s just because, you know, I write stories. So I understand tropes. Still…doesn’t mean I wasn’t delighted.
What I’m Reading:
Oh, my goodness, a whole slew of things: Chained in Silence (about women in convict-lease programs); A Reliable Wife (Robert Goolrick), which isn’t half-bad; Rebecca (Du Maurier, natch); The Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic and Mysticism (Rabbi Geoffrey W. Dennis). Other stuff I can’t put my finger on right now.
What I’m Listening to: