Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pumpkin Beer, Words & Manuscripts

It's been a while since I've had such an in-depth writing session. I suppose I should clarify what is going on and what has happened to me in the past few weeks.

First, the most important part: go buy Hangar 24's Gourdgeous beer. Pumpkin pie meets a smoked strong porter. Amazing. Liquid Thanksgiving. 

I've decided to do a serialized e-book, and my manuscript is what has been first and foremost on my mind. Besides writing a feature for a friend of mine that is soon hitting production. This e-book, which I hinted at a post or two ago, deals with my three years in a movie theater (though there are fictionalized elements and material). I consider those three years foundational to who I am and what I am dealing with, as it is there that I first started fully learning of the world outside my own home.

The writing has been pretty easy. I've written over 3,000 words already including a preface, cold open and maybe the first 2/3 of the first chapter of three chapters. If one factors the outline into the work, then I easily have 5,000 words already done. I have 8 e-books roughly outlined and I think I could easily expand the series to something worthy of screen treatment.

A teaser: "Clerks" meets "Magnolia" if filtered through Judd Apatow. 

One of the most interesting things about writing is the idea of expulsion. I've noticed that once you begin to write, hit your groove and continue, it becomes easier. The words flow together, the syntax congeals and the world becomes tangible and effortless. Its like your mind takes over the narrative and it just keeps going.

I have a particular writing style my friend Jared once remarked up, dubbing it "docu-narrative." That is, I tend to write from the perspective of one character and I follow him around. Picture being a camera on a character's shoulder and that is all we see throughout the story.

This bothered me at first, but in hindsight it may be the most truthful thing about how I write. I tend to follow a character I've created and if he has enough personality, I let him walk and I just follow him.

It may sound odd, but for me it works. If I love my character, I let him do what he or she needs or wants to do.

In doing this, the character not only has to be interesting throughout, but has to also keep me satisfied. I dislike it when I start to write and I cannot stand my character. This prompts a few responses, with the usual one involving the abuse of the backspace key.

Or more often than not, I keep writing. Maybe that is the key. Just write. It becomes easier to go back and rework what is already there than it is to stare at a blank screen for a few minutes.

Expulsion. Just get it out and reflect later.

It gets easier, but it won't ever be as fun as knowing what you love, what you hate, and what works. Writing most often than not doesn't work. It simply doesn't.

But if we love something, we keep going. Or if we hate something, we keep going. Which makes me chuckle.

So, I look forward to this journey. Maybe it might lead somewhere fulfilling. Or maybe it will just help me sleep better.

Good night.

--Nick

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