Thursday, January 12, 2012

NO Progress

Have to confess I'm still a Big Fat Procrastinator.  

NO writing done this week-end, and I haven't been getting in 15 minutes of free writing in the mornings AT ALL. I should be taking advantage of the long summer days.  I'm blazing with the energy (if not the will) to write. When winter swings back, I'll be shambling around like a tired old bear again.

At least I'm coughing up a few blog posts. And I doing a critique every week. God I'm pathetic.

This week-end I'm going to try to find the right actions/scene for the Enlightenment story. I'll start out by free writing like crazy and see if my subconscious can throw me a couple of crumbs. 

If I can keep this pace up, my first shitty novel draft should be finished when I'm 82.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolutions for 2012

Continue with 3 blog sites -

Hanafrank blog - to collect bits of writing gold for future reference. To record writing progress or experiments. Eventually I'll spend time interacting with other writing blogs. 

Story draft blog - to collect info for research and spew out story drafts. 

Secret Diary blog - mainly for personal therapy, for free writing. To collect memories or any material that might go into the story draft site. In this site I write easily and with abandon. Hopefully over time this relaxed voice will be reflected more and more in the hanafrank blog. In the secret Diary blog for example, I don't use words like 'abandon' or 'reflected'.

Spend less time watching TV - which won't be hard because I'm becoming less and less interested in TV.  If you spend a lot of time analysing story structure, the weaknesses in TV movies becomes more and more obvious. I find it hard to watch entire TV movies now.

Have to set writing goals - Have to commit to finishing a story no matter how crappy and stupid and boring the finished result is. So. Write a short story each month. Just FINISH it. Doesn't have to be sent out into the public arena. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Just bloody FINISH one story each month so the right side of my brain can build the necessary writing muscles. The more I practice at making the connections in a story, the faster I'll be able to solve problems and get unblocked. One day I might be able to draft 2,000 words a day.

This year focus on deconstructing published fiction as the best way to learn the writing craft. 

Minimum writing goal for 2012 - 

15 minutes of free writing EVERY DAY, even if it's just the diary site.

One shitty but COMPLETE story outline every month. 

Plagiarise an existing novel and make changes. See if it morphs into something original. Study the original and learn more about the craft as I go.

Start collecting words, phrases, pictures - and put into a 'prompt' box. 

Enlightenment story

Came back to the enlightenment story again. 

I have this intent to write about the similarity between fake gurus and fake love. An idea that gurus who preach selflessness, compassion, loss of ego etc, are often selfish and inflated with a sense of their own importance. But their devotees choose not to see the guru in front of them. The same way people in love choose not see that they aren't loved back. Most of us want to stay in the dream, we want the romance to continue.

So the picture in my head (a scene from real life) is of 2 people inside an ashram about to receive shaktipat from a famous swami. And I just sit there blocked. I can't work out how to reveal the boyfriend and the swami are both phonies. I see now that it's boring being stuck inside the POV of a sad girlfriend for most of the story. I need action in some form. But how to set things in motion ? How to show the MC waking up and seeing reality ?

I was also struggling with bringing E to life. Then the idea came, out of no-where, to base the boyfriend on W instead, and I felt something click.

I'm still making the mistake of not letting go early enough when I get stuck. I just stay trapped by the same scene, the same line of dialogue, the same POV, just asking myself over and over, why isn't this working? I need to let go earlier, experiment more. Remind myself I'm just writing words that no-one will see until I'm ready to show them.

I so GET it now. The need to let go and kill your darlings.

AND - Real life can be great inspiration, but doesn't transfer directly into fiction. 

Sometimes you also need to raise the stakes to make a good story. In real life I gave E $200 for an intensive workshop with Baba Muktananda. In the fiction, maybe the MC will give her boyfriend money for the cost of a trip to India. Maybe he's been living off her for several years. Maybe I could change the location from a small ashram in Melbourne to a famous ashram in India. 

So, in a nut shell -

MC adores W who is seeking enlightenment. MC's desire is to feel settled and safe with the perfect lover. She ignores a feeling that something is wrong, ignores the fact that W is increasingly distant and cold. W's biggest motive is to learn to transcend his emotions and become enlightened - to reach a state of bliss, a state of perfection through his Indian swami. There is a precise moment when MC realises the swami is fake and this also opens her eyes to the fact that she doesn't have a real relationship with W.

But how to SHOW this ? How is reality exposed to the MC through a fake guru?