The words were flowing in the weeks after the conclusion of Chapter Four. A kick-ass artist asked me to write a story for a character that he had drawn. I was so inspired by the sketch he had sent me that I created a whole world around her and was able to distill the basic vibe of it all into a short comic, I think it’s some of my best work and can’t wait to see the finished project. I’ll get into more detail on this as the comic nears completion and we figure out what we’re going to do with it.
I ran with the creative momentum and quickly got to work on Chapter 5, refining the outline, getting the page breakdowns in order and started in on writing scenes and dialogue. I have, from the beginning had Aquarium Drinking all laid out, I always knew what the big events were, how they would happen, and how it would all end. How the characters drive the story with there dialogue is another story altogether. You’d think having it all mapped out would make the page creating process easy and you’d be wrong.
I had a flash of inspiration of how I would begin the chapter and quickly wrote that first scene, I was on a roll. Then I got to the second scene and something wasn’t working, something didn’t feel right and no matter how much tinkering I did I couldn’t make this scene worked. Eventually I realized that the problem was with scene one not scene two, the foundation was flawed. Was it too gimmicky, too wordy, too unrealistic? I don’t know, but I had to go back and rework that first scene so that the chapter could move with fluidity.
Reworking wasn’t working.
Even though I know the plot points and what point A looks like and how to get to point B, at the end of the day it is the characters that drive the story not the events and the characters drive the story with their dialogue. The dialogue is the last thing to get written and if it doesn’t feel right, or if it feels like I’m missing something, something, that if I found could take the story to a deeper, more meaningful level, I get… frustrated.
I probably could just start drawing this first scene based on the script as it is and it would be passable but I have a nagging feeling that there is something I am missing, something that the characters have not revealed to me that is just barely out of my reach. I realize now that I need to dig deeper and think harder, but I also realize that this can’t be forced.
So I started writing things for no reason, stories from another life. Orphan words assembled on a page with no hope of finding a home in an audience’s eyes. Also, the occasional anonymous comment on a Mommy Blog. This is my way to dig deeper, to get to the heart of things but more importantly writing these memories, these asides, is a way to clear out those creative fuel injectors, get the gas pumping again, the engine whirring, the pistons in a rhythm.
In all this deeper digging I found a novel waiting to be born, it comes to me in paragraphs, non-linear, I’m not sure what all the plot points are, the beginning or the middle or the end, it’s not so familiar. It is exciting, it is my literary mistress, an affront to my four year long monogamous relationship with Aquarium Drinking. Well, there were other stories in that time, and it’s true that they meant a great deal to me, but this novel, this new mistress, wants to be the head mistress, she wants all of me.
So what’s a boy to do? I don’t want to give you some sub-par Aquarium Drinking, I won’t start publishing Chapter Five until this conceptual knot is not so taut, but I won’t leave you,the faithful audience hanging. Maybe there will be some blog posts. Hell, maybe tomorrow, Aquarium Drinking, my literary main squeeze, will present herself to me and Chapter Five will pour forth from me like a geyser.
But here’s the deal for now: No new Aquarium Drinking unless I feel like it’s up to snuff. Maybe I start filling this space with blog posts about random things.
We’ll see… Bottom line, everything will happen in its own time.
PS, I have found that standing up while writing A’la Phillip Roth or Earnest Hemingway is quite conducive to the process. This is my new writing nook.