Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Friday, June 5, 2015

Shake, rattle, roll, and get the hell back up...

Not much else you can do when your brain locks down, as mine did over the last couple days. It's a writer's ailment -- fear coupled with confusion laced with a touch of paranoia and served with the conviction you have no idea what you're doing. Took me till now to even start getting past it, so...nothing's been done on OT except a lot of gnashing of teeth and staring into space.

That said, I think I can get back to proofing my current draft...and correcting inconsistencies while clarifying illusory thoughts and intentions. I hope. I have the feeling I'll be doing a fair amount of rewriting once I get feedback on this story. I know what I'm aiming for...I think...but I don't know if I'm achieving it, and that is what started the whole crash and burn.

I wonder if part of my problem is the focus of my stories is the emotional connection between people and how sometimes that gets abused. And also proves to be a saving grace and stronger than anything in the universe. Sometimes I get lost in that so the story seems to meander, to its detriment. Or else, it fails to do what others think it should.

When I wrote The Alice 65 as a script and asked some friends to read it, one made the comment that she sat down expecting the story to be about a bookish guy going on a search for this rare book and becoming a hero in the process. Indiana Jones as a Librarian. And she was disappointed when it didn't do couldn't give me any serious feedback. To me, it was never about that; what drove the story in my mind was the growing emotional connection between Adam and Casey, even as he's caught in a world that's down the rabbit hole, to him. How she softens and shifts into human mode as he opens up and lets go of past events that haunt him. Maybe that was a mistake, but that's what made me want to write the story.

In OT, it's about Jake coming to terms with things he's done in the past and getting to where he's strong enough to stand on his own two feet, with Antony as his partner and not just his support. Even thought Antony's fighting him every step of the way. I don't know if I achieve that, and my uncertainty overwhelmed me. Which made me afraid to even think about letting people read it till I'd rewritten it a dozen more times.

It's the same fear that keeps me from returning to Place of Safety. The knowledge that I don't know that much about Derry society between 1966 and 1981 so I'd be setting myself up for failure...again. Why bother if all you're going to do is screw it up? Problem is, I have the other side of that writer's ailment -- the need to tell the story...and that, in and of itself, is cause for madness.

Color me chaos, right now.

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