Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Something's missing...

"I'm going to find a roll of paper to cover the shelves, I'm going to slide it into the typewriter, and I'm going to type as fast as I can, at top speed, to hell with verse and stanza, then we'll see. I slid it into the typewriter and never hit the paragraph key... I laid it out on the floor and it looked like a road". Jack Kerouac

I'm at a roadblock with "The Vanishing of Owen Taylor", again. Dunno why, but it's just not moving. Everything I did yesterday was wasted effort. Just a long mish-mash of Jake talking with Meredith and Connie, two people who live in the complex. It finally set up a get-together of all of Owen's friends in the town...but the rest is crap.

If I could figure out what the issue is in the story, I could get back to the meat of it. I have so many different parts written; it's just connecting them that's proving to be ridiculously hard. I halfway think I should just freestyle it like Kerouac did...but I'm not out to make a chaotic jangle of a road trip with people who are "mad, mad" when the story I do have so obviously wants to be tight and about something more than just the mystery used as its spine, and the characters are all but begging to have more life in them than truth.

What makes it truly irritating is, I know everything about it, now. Maybe that's where the intimidation comes from; it's not going to be an easy tale to make work. Plus, I am really tired of just having pissed-off, obsessive people populate my work. I want some fun. Jake doesn't have to be a coffee-swilling, cigarette-smoking pile of ennui anymore than Tone needs to keep being so full of angst and anger. Why can't they be a little bitchy, sometimes? Why is everything so careful and guarded in their lives, now? Controlled.

I need a hummingbird moment, like I had near the end of "Bobby Carapisi, v2". It's where Eric realizes just how much evil he's inadvertently unleashed and is jolted into trying to rebuild his life so he can do something more than just helplessly watch it expand and destroy. He begins by cleaning his apartment...and when he takes out the trash, he sees a hummingbird making use of a nearby set of flowers. He watches it, in wonder, then it sits on a branch and glares at him, as if to snarl, "What you lookin' at, Bub?" One of those incongruous little moments that alleviate the drama.

Okay, so where's that fucking hummingbird gone to?


Writer said...

But maybe free-writing is the thing needed to get your through the block...maybe writing about the roadblock or about the piece...though not necessarily writing the piece itself. :)

JamTheCat said...

That's a possibility. Another one I use is writing about something else. Which I finally did, last 11pm. I locked into a kidnap story I'd stared about a year ago and wrote till 1:30. I don't know if that's helped, yet; I just woke up and don't have the brain in gear for writing. wound up being 12 crappy pages that will need a lot of work...and I actually feel lighter because of it.

Maybe the sewerage drain in my mind was blocked and just needed a few good pushed from a mental plunger.