121. where've you been?
I haven’t been posting a lot here because I’ve been working on my futile NaNoWriMo attempt. (For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, see blobs 106-108 for an intro.) I say “futile” because there’s no way I’m going to reach the required 50,000 word mark unless I make like Jack Nicholson in The Shining and just repeat the same line ad infinitum.
Looking back now, I can see that my style of writing is not a good fit for this event. This event is mostly geared towards plot-driven novels. The idea is to get the story out of one’s head and onto the page. The pace of the event is based on this one fact – “plot happens.” In other words, the very act of throwing words at the page will inevitably give birth to some kind of story.
Unfortunately, plot doesn’t play a big part in the things I write. My main concern is not so much with story as it is with language. I like playing with words, trying to come up with new uses for old words. I also like to try and make small, ordinary events sound more epic. I mean the way I see it, things that may be small in the grand scheme of things are still huge when they happen to you. For example, couples have fights all the time and so in general, that’s no big deal as far as movies and novels go, but if you’re the one fighting with your boy/girlfriend then it’s a huge, emotional deal. I want to treat these “small” events with just as much care and attention as other authors give to big, larger-than-life type stories.
Truth be told, I write this way because one, I like this kind of writing (Raymond Carver, Douglas Coupland, T.C. Boye’s short stories). And two, I haven’t lived a very epic life so I’m not very interested in epic stories. And three, in order to pull off big epic tales convincingly, you usually need to do a lot of research…and I’m lazy like that.
But in the end, it’s the experimenting with words that keeps me writing.
Here’s an example:
“He remembers the sound, a squishy thud, nothing like the concussive sound foley artists made for movie fight scenes. He remembers the surprise and then the shock in her eyes. He remembers how plastic, clay-like the side of her face felt as his fist poured into her flesh. He remembers the bones in his hand compressing, the newtonian exchange of forces. He remembers the follow through and the recoil as her head turned back towards him. And then there was the sound of her scream, short, sharp, piercing him, slicing straight through the center of him. And then the blood. And then the absurd realization of what he had just done.” – from the chapter titled “Domestic”
See, that line about his fist pouring into her flesh – that’s a way of describing a punch that I’ve never seen before. It’s unorthodox, but it’s still clear – it’s a new way of describing a relatively common event but written in a way that feels fresh.
Okay, I just realized that I’m going on and on about my own writing, which is kind of an egotistical, megalomanical thing to do…which isn’t like me, so I’ll stop.
Originally, I just wanted to pass on the link to this novel thing I’ve been working on. It’s call Anonycity and you can find it at anonycity.blogspot.com. Because it’s a blog, the newest chapters are on the top. To really get a sense of the novel, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up.
A lot of it is sub-par, in my opinion, but some of it is salvagable. It’s a work in progress so all the storylines are left dangling. But anyway, if you’re wondering what I’ve been doing lately, take a look over there.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.