Saturday, June 27, 2015

Dry Run: Update 12

I just came to a realization: I enjoy doing these little blogged writing updates more than I enjoy writing the book.

Is that weird?  Is that yet another sign that I am pathological?*

At this point, I just want to be done with my book.  And whoa, I'm no longer calling it a story, short or otherwise.  Creepy.

But I just want to be finished with it.  Maybe all lengthy tasks are that way.  I certainly feel it when I'm recording (and especially editing) an audiobook.  Heck, I feel that way when I'm listening to an audiobook and I feel the narrative has gone on too long.  I just want the thing to be over with, and if it isn't immediately so . . . it starts to feel like a drudgery.  Like a chore to be completed, instead of a pleasurable passtime.

Anyway, I wrote these words a while ago, and just wrote Dry Run Update 13, then came on here to see what I'd written in number 12.  Turns out I wrote the same thing in both, just on different days.  Whoops.

So instead, what I'll talk about here today is Rish Outfield's final rewrite.  Should that be capitalized?  Anyhow, back when I was an extra in L.A., I carried my backpack around (both the one that was stolen when I went to see JURASSIC PARK 3, and the later one) with a notebook in it to write in, and with a print-out of an older story.  I would usually write my stories in longhand, eventually type up what I had written, and then print it out.  I'd wait anywhere from a month to a year, then grab that printout and read through it, making notes and changes as I saw fit.  I'd incorporate those changes, and that would be my final draft.

You see, being an extra, besides paying so little it almost comes close to how little I make at my job in 2015, is all about sitting around, or standing around, or riding a shuttle, or waiting for a shuttle, or waiting to change into your wardrobe, or waiting for Makeup or Hair, or waiting for a vacant trailer to change out of your wardrobe in, or waiting to get signed in, or waiting to eat, or waiting to see if you're even needed that day, or waiting to get signed out.  In other words, it's hardly any downtime at all.

I used to get through a ton of book reading, and quite a bit of writing done while being a "background player," and I always dug that about the job.  But now, I have less sitting around time, and the internet is a constant attention harlot (which I realize is demeaning, but if it didn't want my attention, it wouldn't dress that way).  So my writing process in the twenty-teens is this: I write the first draft in longhand in the notebook, then I eventually (or never) get the notebook out and transcribe the story onto the computer (usually adding and changing little things there), and then comes the final draft: reading it aloud.

I find SOOOOOOOO many things wrong with my stories when I read them aloud.  And lately, I've tried to record the readings, so I'll have them for my podcast, or to put up for sale.  This process is unbelievably slow, and in my recent final draft of "Popcorn Movies," it probably resulted in, oh, about a thousand or so changes.  Only when I read it aloud do I realize I've used the same word too many times, or phrased things awkwardly, or repeated the same information in two different sections, or changed a character's name from Joanne to Glynis.  And, as I've said, beyond it helping my story suck a little less, it creates an audio file I can actually do something with.

It works for me ("Popcorn Movies," for good or ill, is a heck of a lot better after all those changes).  And that's how I'm going to play it from now on.

Until I don't.  You know me.

So, looking at my word count machine, I'm at:

My math puts that at eighty-two percent finished.  I'd say, I'll be done by about Dry Run Update 15.  Or, if I decide to REALLY work, I could be done sooner.  Except I don't want it to be a drudgery, so I won't.  Sorry.

Rish Outfield, Nearly Done

*You think that's effed-up, I actually named my pillow when I was a boy.  And talked to it.  And asked it to the prom.  It had other plans that night, though.

No comments: