Chapter Eleven is being difficult. I have an outline. I know what needs to happen during Eleven, Twelve, and the first part of Thirteen. I just don’t have the words to describe it yet.
This happens a lot, to be honest. More often than I care to admit sometimes. Action is fairly easy to figure out. The path from Point A to Point B is easy enough to lay out in a chart or in rough descriptions of chapters. But getting the actual words to show the action, the dialogue as the characters converse back and forth, and making sure that there is nothing that doesn’t help the story in some way… well, that’s more than a little difficult. Particularly when my brain is already struggling because of the sapping nature of the Depression, or the distraction of my Ferret Syndrome.
As a general rule, I despise Red Herrings as lazy writing. There’s a rule in playwriting that if you have a gun above the mantel in Act One, that gun had damned well go off during the climax of the story. I learned a great deal of how to write from taking a Playwriting course in college. To be honest, it helped more than both the Creative Writing classes did because it helped me learn how to show the story instead of just telling it through summary. I might not edit out all objectionable material from my stories… but I am very careful to be certain that anything I do leave in serves a purpose as part of the larger narrative.
Most of the time when I’m struggling with a story, I find myself sitting that the computer for hours on end playing Chuzzle, or Bejeweled 3, or Solitaire, or with my DS in my hands playing one of the Pokemon games. I find the distraction relaxing, calming, oddly meditative, to be honest. I find it easiest to think when I’m losing my awareness in playing a game, or grinding for hours on end to level some character in an RPG. It’s when I do my deepest thinking.
I’ll see in my mind flashes of scenes, hear scraps of conversation between characters, or have philosophy and grand statements about the nature of life and the human condition come rising up from the chaos in my mind as the distraction causes the swirling thoughts to slow and come together. Sometimes I’m able to write the stuff down. Most of the time I just talk to myself. I’m not used to the idea that my thoughts and ideas might have a larger audience that would appreciate them.
I briefly considered starting up a separate blog just for the philosophy… but I write it down so rarely that it just didn’t seem to warrant something that large just for me rambling about the nature of Choice or the search for Human Meaning. If no one objects, though, I might drop such treatises here since this blog is already made and goodness knows the philosophy shapes the fiction to a degree.
Additionally, since I’m going to be rather slow on Chapter Eleven of The Firebird’s Daughter, I thought that I’d go through my archives and see what other stories I’ve got that I can post up here. I’ve got quite a few worthwhile projects that are unfinished and could use some interest to get them going again, and a few short pieces that are complete enough to stand on their own.
And I might start up a section just for the pixel art illustrations I make of the individual characters. I can’t draw to save my life, but I can put together a decent microhero doll or build a doll using one of the flash games available on a few really good sites for such things. I like being able to put a face to a character even with my limited skills.
We’ll see what I’m able to do. Thank you for your time and interest.