Saturday, December 27, 2008

Getting Loopy

27 December
Here’s one of the games I play with myself. I make things take longer than they need to because I’m afraid that when I’m done with them, I won’t have any other ideas. So I putter away my time, don’t work on projects like Choice or Ithaka or any of the short stories I’ve got simmering in my brain. But I'm thinking about them all the time, and trying to get to them all the time. If I would just work on them as diligently as I've been working on Choice lately, I would finish everything. And I ought to trust myself by now that I have more ideas than I will ever be able to write in my lifetime. They just keep coming.

Choice has thrown me a loop today. As a short story, I had thought the scene where Matt gets arrested came too abruptly in the beginning. And once Ray asks Matt to help him do the ritual to help Denny move on, it's a straight shot - you know Matt will get the clothes, you know the guys will end up in the desert, etc. The arrest was too big, too overpowering for the scenes that follow until they're out on the desert. So I thought...I'll put that scene later in the novel version. Well, novel version is now at 150 pages and I was getting to the arrest scene and realized, no, it actually DOES need to go at the beginning, in the first 25 pages - so now I've got the dilemma of how to get it there. Do I continue writing as if I've already put it in the first 25 pages? Or, do I go back, make those revisions now and then continue once I've fixed all the continuity problems? And, I don't know for certain (although I'm 95% certain) that the scene should actually go there, so I don't want to do this in a way that I'll obliterate what I've gotten done to this point - so I'm not sure how I should do this. Longhand revisions, on the computer. And I can feel how easily this will turn into a reason to stop, and I'm refusing to allow myself to go there. So I'm desperately seeking advice from the writers I know on how best to write through this.

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