Monday, January 15, 2007

Well what do you know, you *can* stop procrastinating.

So, I did it.

Sat down with the novel tonight, and pushed my way through the trouble spot. And it was...well, I won't say it was a nightmare, but it sure wasn't easy.

I found myself tangenting an awful lot, going into some insomniac, stream-of-consciousness style stuff that, essentially, allowed me to pad the last chunk of this chapter just a little bit. What's weird about it is that, at the time, while I'm writing it, it doesn't feel like padding. It feels like this character struggling for coherence, struggling for meaning, struggling to make sense of his own head, and the world around him. But when it's done, the whole bit just feels sort of...meaningless.

Meaningless because it's not really driving the story forward. And in a way, it feels like anything that isn't driving the story forward is just padding. Just taking up space. Just killing time.

But I'm wondering if, in a book like this, part of the story really is what's going on in the character's head. Not just his internal reactions to the things going on around him, but the random flailing of his thoughts as well. Just letting his headspace go wherever it wants to go. Because, even outside of the raw, point-to-point narrative, this is a book about a guy flailing about in his own broken perspective on faith, and coming out the other end with something new. Seems to me I'd have to have a lot flailing around to capture that.

I stumbled upon a nice bit of metaphor, entirely by accident, but completely botched my attempts to actually bring it to life on the page. I'd include a segment here, but, like I said, it was pretty badly botched, and not something I feel up to sharing publicly at the moment. Hopefully I got enough of the gist down on the page that, when it comes time to edit, I'll remember what it was I was going for, and be able to actually do it properly.

Here's one line, though, that captures the basic idea: "
I’ve gone without sleep for so goddamn long that, until this moment, I had forgotten that being awake meant a whole lot more than just not sleeping."

And on that note, it's time to hang up the writing hat for tonight.

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