Sunday, March 8, 2015

Random Thoughts

Been another month (well, a little more)! Sorry. Lots of reasons, but none of real import, I suspect.

Just to reiterate, this is my blog about writing - no politics or really personal stories here, unless they relate to my writing in some valid way. Also, these posts aren't going to be heavily edited ... I want to chat and share, but I'm saving my agonized-over writing for my fiction.

1. Perfect/Ideal Dream vs. Imperfect/Messy Reality

My wife and I have been re-watching one of my favorite shows - Carnivale - an HBO series from the early 2000s. Every time I re-watch it (I guess every couple of years), my mind reels, and I wonder where the show's creator would have taken it. You see, the show was canceled after two seasons. It had been planned to run six. So, of course, like a good little Information Age guy, I go scouting around online for info. With this show, there's a good bit of material online. It's really not quite satisfying, though. It gives you enough to speculate, but no firm answers.

And that is what makes it perfect.

What do I mean? Well, you can't really be unhappy with how he (the show's creator) ended it, 'cause he never did. Yes, you can be upset with how it actually ended (inconclusively) on TV or DVD, but, since we never got to see the finale as he would have done it ...

Instead, we can only think, "Wow - just imagine! Maybe he would have gone here?" And because there are so many possibilities in our own heads, and because nothing was set down on tape (or film, or paper, or whatever), we can't quibble with the mistakes made, the poor choices, the opportunities blown, etc. Maybe if Carnivale had ended ... if the creator had been allowed to complete his six seasons, it wouldn't be one of my favorite shows? But I'll never know.

I think sometimes it's like this when writing my own work, too. It's so perfect and pristine in my head. I haven't messed up yet. I haven't put down any awkward sentences yet. I haven't gone down any avenues with my plot that I later regretted and said, "Crap, now I have to go back and rewrite that whole section!" Really, my only regret before I've written something is that I don't yet have it down on paper (or screen, or whatever) for myself and others to read.

But you have to take the plunge, at least if you ever want to share your work with others. Sure, many might dislike it, might "diss" the choices you made or the actual turns of phrase you've set down, but ... also? Some ... even just a few ... might really like it.

And then you can call it "done" and move on to the next thing.

2. Exciting Points

Had a couple super-cool-groovy things happen to me with my novel-in-progress recently.

First, a scene that I'd had in my head for a long time, maybe not since I started the book, but certainly pretty early on ... well, I came to that scene in the book. So exciting to see this thing that's been in my head for so long, and that is pivotal to the story, come to fruition. It's not like getting to the ending of the book, but it's a bit like that - like reaching a finish line, or something striven for.

Also, I was doing something ... showering, I think ... when I was suddenly able to visualize in my head the basic plot for the rest of the book. Now, I don't tend to write outlines for my book ahead of time. I have basic ideas, some of which I write down, others that I don't, but I don't really tend to have things broken down into chapters, etc.

But this had happened with my first book, Falling Into Fate, too: I came to a point at which I just suddenly could visualize what had to happen all the way through to the end of the book. I hurriedly wrote it all down, and, from that point, it felt like I was riding a waterfall comfortably to the end of my first draft. I am hoping that's what will happen this time, too. But it felt good to get the ideas down on paper (well, the screen).

That's it for now! Do you folks find similar things with your works?

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