Monday, April 07, 2008

Wading Pool

You fellow writers probably know what I mean. After starting my novel in January, I should be well into depths of the plot instead of kicking around in the wading pool, but that's where I am.

I have written thirty pages in long hand, as I learned in my writing workshop, and it has been a very successful method for me.

When I am scratching my words on paper, the story feels more organic, like it moves on its own. I don't try to correct myself during this phase of the writing. If some thought comes to me after I have moved on to another scene, I would simply write in between the lines and margins, sometimes cramming words and sentences like intestines overlapping internal organs.

I spend a few hours a week, usually on weekends, squeezing in my writing life in between the laundry, brunch with friends and drinking binges. I feel like there isn't enough time to devote to writing even though I love it, those moments when the words flow like when you piss on a wall in an alley and it flows down and pools between your feet and you have to widen your stance so your shoes won't get wet. It's like that. The characters take form and run run run as if they have stolen somebody's purse. Even though it's wonderful like that, life interferes and I have to go back and do the totally mundane like giving blowjobs to my boyfriend. I wish I could stay suspended in that mode, but my boyfriend will just keep hounding me until he gets his rocks off.

Back to those thirty handwritten pages begging to be transcribed on to my computer. This does not flow as easily. If creatively, writing on paper is pissing on a wall, typing it up is like a hard piece of shit that is lodged in your anus: your body knows it's coming out, you want it to come out, the shit itself wants to come out, but somehow, something is holding it up. It's laborious and yet there is some bit of creativity, some flash of brilliance, a tin can catching the sunshine on the beach. I type anyway, because I am afraid that I will lose these handwritten pages on a bus, or if somebody breaks into my car and steals them. Ask any writer, they will all tell you that they are all afraid that somebody will steal their pages or accidentally use it as fishwrap. Go on, I'll wait.

I have typed up three chapters, the fourth is waiting after this post to be typed. Even now, I know that I have a lot of work to do later in terms of editing. I need to fill in descriptions, clarify points, and a "voice." Ask JadePark and she will also tell you that while it seems to come easily in my blog, this "voice," it is very much labored in my novel. It's a balancing act of being there and being unobtrusive at the same time. Since I am writing in the third person omniscient, my narrator shouldn't be conspicuous, otherwise, I should change the point of view. Besides, I don't want my novel to sound like my blog, because it's not about me. Just characters based on me.

Even this blog post feels like an affair in a seedy, damp smelling motel room. I feel that every word I am typing right now is a betrayal. I must go back to writing. I must.

I must get out of the wading pool.

Related posts:

Thinking the Unthinkable - He said/She said things about Lynda Barry's writing workshop.

My Writing Life - Starbucks is the only place I can write. God help me.

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