Monday, May 07, 2007

Current Draft v. Old Love

I am now 43 pages into Current Draft. I had a miserable time writing today. Perhaps it was because I went to the library this time, where there's internet but no eating or drinking. Perhaps it's because I started writing a scene that pretty much mirrored an earlier scene and yet I could not delete. Perhaps it's just because I really don't like this story. Only yesterday it was starting to grow on me when I made one of my angry but trying teenagers beat the crap out of a jukebox with his drum sticks.

That was fun.

I've started adding all these cool features to my blog, besides its recent face lift. I'm quite fond of them. I like how writerly my picture makes me look, though in reality I think that night I was trying to read an article for Film History on the French New Wave or something after three nights of getting an average of 5 hours of sleep. I'm going to try to figure out how to do progress bars for my stories like Emily does over on her blog, because I'm sure that's what you all are *really* here for.

My aunt has been reading The 4:05, which thrills me. The last time we talked about it she had just stopped right before the Climax. She only started reading it yesterday, and I'm sure she's done by now, so I said to her at dinner, "Don't you think it's easier to read scripts than novels?"

And to my surprise, she said "no."

The thing is, sure, she reads it faster, but she was telling me how much she misses the description of novels. "Purple prose," I once heard it called, and screenwriters are told to stay away from it like the plague. Which, I feel, causes a dilemma because film is also a *visual* medium, they tell us over and over again, trying to make us screenwriters feel bad about our words, it's a *visual* story that's where the art comes from not from your snappy dialog and I just want to say, oh yeah? then what about all those college guys who spend their lunch periods quoting movies? Yeah, I never had to endure forty five minutes of them trying to recreate the angles and proportions of the puzzle scene from Citizen Kane!

I digress.

And then she got me thinking... a novel would be nice. I know I'm scripting in June, but what if I worked on a novel, over the summer (this summer is turning into quite the writer's treat, as I shall expound later... oh, expound, what a fun word.). Because, see, I don't know if you've noticed, but I've gotten a lot more... verbose lately. Verbage everywhere! I'm pouring out by the paragraphs, frivolous, superfluous dialog that would be strictly forbidden in the scripting world.

And I remember, how I started as a *fiction* writer. All this nonsense about movies came later. I can practically already feel the salt wind coming off the ocean in my setting. There's even an indistinct character walking along the beach and a woman who's watching him. It's so tempting...

Here is the problem. I have written three novels and another novel-length piece, but I've never written a real novel without NaNo. And it's terribly difficult, or at least daunting, to switch from the style of screenwriting to the style of novel writing. I was terrified to do it for NaNo this past year, but somehow I pulled through. A writer is a writer is a writer. I'm confident that I could even be a halfway decent poet if I tried long enough and practiced hard enough. And I've already novelled. Maybe I'll start in secret and type away furiously until I think I have a sustainable effort that can be proudly touted in front of everyone (what am I saying, a secret? I have a blog for crying out loud). Maybe I won't attempt anything at all until November, when I was planning, I confess, to write something silly and completely unsellable as it would not even be under my copyright.

Someone actually called me a serious writer on the Script Frenzy board (much love to you, sir!). Perhaps I could be a serious novelist for once.

Because, you see, Old Loves never really leave. And mine is tempting me back right now.

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