A sometimes half-arsed record of the process of writing in its' variegated many forms.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How strange is the creative process?

I remember reading an interview with Haruki Marukami somewhere, and the jist of it was that he didn't really consciously develop the symbolism that shows up in his novels. It just kind of happens. Actually, I'm probably totalling reimagining all that from my own jangled brain, but the point I'm trying to get at here is that for all the planning and coordinating and structuring you do, when you actually sit down at the writing table, things can take completely unexpected turns that seem to come from nowhere.
I'm at this juncture in the work where it's essentially a transition, and I was really trying to get from point Q where we were to point R, which should have been a fairly simple move. And yet suddenly our protagonist has lost the ability to use his legs for no apparent reason, and I couldn't for the life of me tell you why that happened or where that came from or what it might symbolize or any of that shiite. I really don't know. It's just that wierd magic that happens when the blank page is in front of you, and you try to cross the jungle. It's a mysterious thing this creative process. Very strange indeed.

Monday, April 27, 2009


So, the truth is it's gonna be awhile before I get the vidblog stuff in full effect. The main problem is one of verbosity. I can't get 'em down below fifteen minutes, and that's working real hard at it. So, the vidblog stuff is still in development, but that don't mean I gotta maintain radio silence on the work.
I've been blocked, distracted, and generally incapable of sitting down to the writing table with even the most minute amount of confidence that I have any skill at writing whatsoever. So things have gone in fits and starts. I've been on the verge of finishing the first act for what seems like months now, and it's been killing me.
The problem really was that I got myself caught up in writing a film at the end of the first act. The idea was that our hero, Thomas, goes to a double feature, the first being Charles Vidor's Gilda. I had a great if very meticulously tedious time of retelling the film, for whatever reason.
Then came the second feature, which was entirely made up. From soup to nuts. I concieved a whole film noir set in Memphis in the 40ies, and practically wrote the whole dang thing. Of course, it wasn't formatted like a screenplay, it was all written like a story within the story of the film Thomas goes to see, and yet it was still more complicated than that. Thomas enters into the film. He becomes the camera. He becomes the liminal medium between the interior world of the film and the external world where an audience is watching this film.
At times Thomas was in both places, other times neither. All very wierd, but I made the push with a fourteen hour writing session, and I finished off the film in a very satisfying way. Now I'm down to the last chapter of the first act. Sort of.
There's actually a new aspect to the first act, which was there from the beginning (I just wanted to write that stuff after I'd finished the meat of the act), which requires me to go through the city of Boston and thru a kind of poetic, surrealistic, impressionistic writing follow Thomas as he goes from seeing Derrick Morgan at the Middle East Downstairs all the way into the first scene of the screenplay he's just written the first scene for.
Crazy, crazy. Should be fun.