Friday, July 27, 2007

Beat it

I need your help: I've either discovered a stunning secret to writing or I'm Joe 90.

Any chance you find this yourself? Do you absorb things, do you for instance write better dialogue immediately after watching The West Wing? Or better gags, better pacing rhythm after a Sports Night? And do you growl at people in lazy Klingon after Star Trek?

I'm almost serious. On the one hand I find it very hard to read fiction when I'm writing my own prose yet on the other I really can come away from something fired up. I've been doing the reading-ten-pages business, the suggestion that in preparation for entering the Red Planet contest you read the first ten pages of scripts you like and it happened that the one I looked at earlier tonight was The Bourne Identity by Tony Gilroy. Couldn't help myself, though, I watched the film again.

Had a long day, had a long week, but was sufficiently fired up by it to come back to the keys now.

'Course, the intent of writing up this scene that's been floating around my noggin' for a week has rather fallen by the wayside because I'm talking with you so I'd best go do that. But if I am an empty vessel that absorbs and moulds itself to the shape of anything I've just watched, I should do myself a showreel tape of the best things I can find. And play it a lot.

Just a thought.

Well, not just a thought, also a prevarication. Did I mention that I bought the Suzanne Vega album? Played it through twice without it making a single dent in my head - until a couple of days later when I realised I was humming half the tracks on it. Have since looped it incessantly on my iPod and am adoring it to the point of hating it.

Sometimes I think it's tiresome, even depressing, that the things I do to relax I can never relax to because I'm too aware of just how hard they were to make. But let's just crank up iTunes as high as it'll go, switch to my "Loud" playlist and get back to writing to the beat. Here come the drums, and all that.


1 comment:

William Gallagher said...

Is it rude to comment to yourself?

Just wanted to add that since hitting Send on that entry, I've written a 10-page romance. Straight through, no editing, no changing, the characters telling me what to write.

Trouble is, it's a ten-page scene and instinctively I itch to break it up, and it's also a single scene from somewhere near the end of a piece. That's what it feels like.

But it makes strong points, not as well as I'd like but still pointing at some depth, there are a couple of good gags, and all the issues I had in my head when I sat down are in there.

So can you tell me why I can't write the Red Planet ten pages?

Driving myself spare here,