Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dry Run: Update 9

I believe I have previously mentioned that this project, my dry run leading up to actually writing a novel could BE a novel, if I could just develop it a little bit more.  So far, there are four major(ish) characters, and I keep intending to introduce one more before the end, but I could easily explore these characters further, find out what they do all day, what they think about, where they came from.

And that's a problem, wouldn't you say?  Have you ever read one of the big, sprawling Stephen King books where he introduces a character, tells you all about him (or her), gives you their backstory and their wants and desires . . . and then kills them right then and there?  It probably didn't bother me the first couple of times he did it,* but once I noticed it, it stood out a little more every time he did it again.

And mayhaps that comes from writing without an outline, writing from the seat of your pants, not really knowing where the characters are going to end up, and even who's gonna be significant and who isn't.  But "Into the Furnace" isn't really like that.  True, my outline consists of a single page, where I write the characters' names, and the beginning and middle of the story.  But I'd be a little more comfortable if I knew where it's all heading.  Just HOW the good guy is going to defeat the bad guy, and if I can somehow organically have the first attempt fail without getting our hero killed as reprisal.

I still don't know.  And that's kind of exciting, really.  Except that I feel like I'm dragging my feet at this point, going slowly on "Into the Furnace"--or worse, setting it down to work on other stuff--so that I don't have to write my novel and potentially fail.  I think my subconscious might think it's doing me a favor, keeping me from stumbling, but I really wish it wouldn't.

There's a girl at work that I mentioned several months ago, who went away and then came back again.  She's a perfectly cromulent girl, if a little weird (yes, kettle calling the pot African-American and all), and I was told by another coworker that she's fond of me (which is what two or three readers of my blog** said was surely the case.  So yesterday, I approached her, and then walked away.  And approached her again, not meaning to sweep her off her feet or anything, but say something nice to her, a compliment, I dunno.  But I couldn't make myself do it.  I'd crashed and burned so many times, I was like Mark Hamill's face sewed together with Gary Busey's or something.***

So, my subconscious told me, "Dude, don't be an asshole.  If you flirt with her, it's gonna either lead her on, and she's obviously mentally unstable anyway.  Or worse, she's gonna think you're some kind of freakazoid, which you obviously are but keep blocking out of your mind, and then things are gonna be weird between you, which is fine for you, but think about her.  This is a girl the world has been cruel to, and the last thing she needs is you making it cruel and unattractive."  This is, of course, a translation of what went through my mind, in the blink of an eye, and I went ahead and did my job rather than dork around while getting paid almost nothing an hour.

Do I sound like I'm complaining?  I'm sorry, I don't.  I used to be quite bitter and quite angry, and I don't think that's the case anymore.  I'm mostly just numb, and I rarely feel sorry for myself anymore, which I think is healthy.  My therapist says th--

Oh yeah, my therapist was institutionalized and got so much electroshock therapy that he no longer remembers my name.  Or his own.  Or how to use toilet facilities.  But I digress.

Current progress:

I forced myself to transcribe today until I reached ten thousand words.  That's about when the bad guy finally shows his face, which is long in coming, as I've said, but feels about right to me.

I'm well past the middle point on the actual writing, even if I can't count it on here, so that's good.  Not great (as the calendar tells me), but good.


*In his expansion of "The Stand," be probably does it into the double digits.

**Holy Guido Sarducci, I have more than one reader of my blog!  I just realized that.  And . . .  There, I've forgotten it already.

***I purposely didn't mention actors who DIED in car accidents.  It seemed a little tasteless.  Which, I know, hasn't stopped me before, but . . .

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