Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Muddling Through Gets More And More Satisfying

Part of the problem is that I write fast, and get bored easily. So here I am on the second novella, twelve pages in, and it's hard to imagine some long extensive, years-in-the-doing, kind of revision. I write by accretion, going back over the paragraph I just wrote and tweaking, clarifying, almost always finding new material. The existing sentences tend to imply more, want more. How to manage this - writing fast - is a challenge, maybe the challenge.

The other issue is: history vs. the story. As Douglas says, you have two spaces in your writing - the past and the now. How do the two inform one another, act on each other. The same ideas at play in the current piece of writing. The question is avoiding boredom, exhausting the reader with the heaviness of what happened long ago. The answer, I think, is plot - the meatiness of it (Josh Corey wrote that, though I paraphrase) - making things happen. Letting things happen. It occurred to me last night that I tend to stay in spaces where I'm bored (writing and otherwise) and this may not be a viable strategy.

Toying, as always, with major changes going forward - say taking the summer off from education in order to really apply myself to writing, and to pushing the writing. Yet inherent in that is some idea that the education itself isn't integral to whatever optimism, or confidence, that makes me think: just write. So who knows. The lack of clarity on these subjects - even as the muddling through gets more and more satisfying - continues to depress.

The point lately - or what works - seems to be about getting outside of what has seemed to work in the past (I wanted to write "comfort zone" but cringed). So the farther afield I go the closer I seem to get to home. Is that a fair way to say it - to say what?

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