I really like the concept I’ve come up with, but I need more international flavor to it. If you want to help me add some international characters from outside the United States, please get in touch with me on Twitter.
I don’t have a muse, so I bounce around a lot creatively, but I may have finally stumbled across a novel concept I can believe in. I’ve been looking for a big creative project for years now and I think this one I’m working on may be it.
At least, I’ve managed to flesh out this concept much farther than most of my past efforts. But we’ll see. I’m still a little nervous it’ll all collapse in on itself like so many have in the past, but I’m pressing forward anyway.
I am very please with what I’ve managed to accomplish so far, at least.
But we’ll see. Generally, no one listens to me or cares what I have to say, so I’m going to have to do this all by myself, for myself.
As I sit down for a day’s writing, I find myself reflecting on difficult it is to write, period. Generally, at least for me, people tell me I suck and I should just go get a job at a bank. I think what I’m going to do is simply stop being so forthcoming when it comes to showing people the process of whatever it is I’m working on.
People want something from me that I just can’t give them. They want me to fit inside “the box” of the conventional. They hate the very idea that I would write anything at all because my grammar is bad or whatever. They come at me from the point of view of a professional writer when I’m just a struggling novice who enjoys writing and telling stories, regardless of how good the end produce might be.
But I think simply not being so open with what I’m writing will fix the issue. That and buckling down and doing the hard work of actually required to produce a novel someone in the end will want to read. Now that I have the basic plot down, the difficult part begins.
It’s surprising how absolute some people are about how they think I shouldn’t write, period. But I’ve never done what I’m supposed to do and so why should I start now. But the issue is I have to actually do the work. I have to start to do the hard work of development. There’s a lot of stuff you have to do in the background of writing a novel to produce something that is actually anywhere near what you might want to read. I’ve talked about writing enough. Time to act.
I have been working on a novel off an on for about six years now.
I have struggled to figure out what I wanted to write about and how I wanted to do it. I know I want to tell the story of the late Annie Shapiro and me in Seoul in 2006-2008, but I’m not a good enough writer to tell it literally. So, after a lot of distractions and bouncing around, I’ve settled on telling a proxy story set in Southside Virginia.
The story wouldn’t be so much about Annie and me as it would be about the theoretical consequences of her secretly having a child with me and me not knowing about it for decades. It would be all very hazy and fictionalized. I tried to write a literal rome a clef about what happend in Seoul but it was a complete disaster in large part because it was more about me venting about something I was still angry about as opposed to telling a great story.
So, today I think I’m going to work on the novel again. The #FOTUS thing seems to have petered out. No one is interested and nothing is going on. I need to look for a job today as well. I just feel so meh. Nothing really excites me other than writing and photography.
I wish something fun-interesting would happen. Something where nobody got hurt and we all felt good about the news for once. Maybe Trump and his possible talks with the DPRK are it in a surreal, bonkers way.
I’ve decided to wallow in self-pity for the night to move on to other things and so you get this. Here’s a sample of my writing from Seoul. It’s probably the best stuff I’ve ever written. You won’t get the context, but it’s still interesting. There’s something about Mary
I’m afraid I’m well on my way to becoming a cliche.
Because of circumstance, I’m soon going to become one of those guys you see in coffee shops and libraries hard at work on their screenplay. It’s kind of pathetic in its own way. But the issue is, I’ve finally come across a story concept that is strong enough that I really want to invest the time and energy into needed to flesh out.
The only problem with the concept is it’s very obviously a screenplay, not a novel. I have struggled for some time, trying to make it a novel, but it just doesn’t work. The story is a direct homage to the Big Chill and as such it takes place over a weekend.
The big difference is there’s a lot more drama in this concept than The Big Chill. A whole lot more. That’s what makes it great from a writing standpoint. There’s more than enough to keep me entertained. That’s been a big problem for some time with previous attempts to write either a novel or a screenplay — I just couldn’t keep myself entertained as the writer to finish the story.
They say you’re supposed to have a surprise on each page of a story and I think the one I’m working on now comes pretty close to that. I need to shut up and write. I need to stop writing and writing and just do the actual writing. But it’s kind of tough. I have to psych myself up to do it.
But my life is about to undergo a major change almost immediately, so maybe I’ll be more productive. Maybe. I hope. I really want to finish at least one screenplay before I die. I am going to write the screenplay as a novella first then go from there.
That’s the plan, at least.
I’m struggling with a screenplay these days. I’m going to write it as a novella first and then once I save up the money, buy Final Draft and write it as a screenplay. But the point of the story is I want to tell one that really gets into how Trump has effected life on a personal level.
There have been a few movies like that, but nothing as seminal as, say, The Big Chill. That’s the type of movie I’m striving for, with maybe a little bit more drama. I have a lot of things I want to talk about in the story and they’re all coming together in one tidy project. I was the publisher of a magazine in Seoul about a decade ago and that story is really interesting, but I’ve struggled as to how to tell it. This story would be a way for me to do just that and that would be using as back story.
It’s been difficult to actually write the story. Part of writing a story as a writer is having to entertain yourself as you do it. So sometimes I get bored and stop working on this story, but I’m generally a creative person and I find myself wanting to write something again. So, I hope to return to this story pretty soon, if not today.
There is so much to talk about when it comes to this surreal Trump era we’re in. So much we can talk about in a story when it comes to how its changed how people are interacting with each other with such a troubling person as president. I have so much I want to talk about in this very thing in this story.
Regardless, it is going to take time. It’s going to take time to process all the batshit stuff that is happening because of Trump.
I found myself with some time today, so I finished the movie treatment I’ve been working on. Now to sit down and write a much more detailed novella using the treatment as a basis. Then, I will work on a screenplay. But I really enjoy the process of creation itself and so things, at least for the time being, are kinda humming along.
We’ll see how long it lasts.
I went for a walk and realized something. I have been struggling with the conflict of this story and I think maybe, just maybe, I have it. The high-concept of this script would be Contact meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind meets Stranger in a Strange Land.
The conflict comes from the consequences of our hero being put in an extraordinary situation. I really like the idea of just a regular person being put in extraordinary circumstances and this script, should I ever write it, would be very much in that style. Our Hero is forced to make some enormous decisions for billions of people and the story is about what happens next.
I’m quite content with that, now I just have to write the damn script. I really need help with the plot, but no one will help me. But it’s still fun to explore this. As I keep saying, what I really need to do is buy a professional digital camera. That’s something that can change my life for the better.