Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Saturday, August 13, 2016

No writing done on PS...

In the midst of dealing with unexpected expenses and bills that were higher than I thought they'd be, not to mention the minutia of daily life in the electronic age, the third section of Place of Safety fell apart. Completely. The part of Brendan in Derry from 1966 to 1972 is okay; I've only done about 40% of the part in Houston and that's working out all right, so far; but when he returns to Derry flat out exploded in my face.

I had it all outlined and I've written about 60% of it..maybe 65%...but as I was filling in between the sections I've written, it started feeling like a Hollywood script. Everything was too pat and obvious. An entire sequence I'd crafted so perfectly (to me, anyway) now could easily fit into a James Bond movie. It defied logic, completely.

So...the ruins of my beautiful work (to me, anyway) sent me crashing into writer's block. I tried everything to get around it -- arguments on FaceBook and in various stories' comments sections, notes like crazy, reading through my older books on The Troubles -- none of it worked. I'm still caught in it.

Tonight I gave up and watched Seven Samurai, again; the new Criterion version. Its image is crisper. It has more precise subtitles. The story is magnificent. And it has Toshiro Mifuni fighting the climactic battle in the rain while wearing a breastplate and a Fundoshi (a Japanese jockstrap; that's mud on his legs in this picture).

This is one of my favorite films, and is almost Tolstoy-esque in how it depicts human character and emotion, albeit mingled with a dash of Noh Theater. I saw the 1960 American remake with Yul Brenner and Steve McQueen; doesn't hold a candle. And I have zero interest in the new one coming out, with Denzel Washington and one of the Chris's -- Pratt? I've seen the trailer and it just looks silly, to me.

What was good about this is it cleared away some of the cobwebs. I can see part of the problem with the return section is repetition. Not exact...but I have Brendan grabbed by the RUC and interrogated, then I have him taken by the British Army and interrogated. The first one minimizes the impact of the second one. BUT...there are aspects of the first one I really need in the how it's a childhood friend who's Protestant and betrays him to the Constables...and how a ghost of a friend who died stops him from getting himself killed. I just need to reconfigure that part...I guess...

Still so much to do on this damn much...

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