Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Working Notes

Haven't put these up for a bit - two months, actually. But, typing them up today, moved me past a stuck point in the novel. Always a struggle between what I'm writing and what I've already thought up and remembering that I've thought it up. The "Tristram Shandy" dilemma of having to keep rereading what I've written at the same time that I'm writing new stuff.

28 October
Matt finds the blue bead necklace – when he meets Katami, K touches it, but it isn’t until the ritual that Matt sees K has one just like it and realizes K gave it to Denny – a power stone for speaking the truth. K was in love with Denny – he does the ritual because he wants to contact Denny to say good-bye (he didn’t return in time to see Denny before D died).

Telescope scene – Matt thinks Alan is trying to get closer to him because,now that Denny’s gone, there’s a chance for him to bond. Matt’s really suspicious.

Later scene – Alan reveals that he didn’t run into Rachelle purely by chance.

“The curious thing is, I never go back to the cemetery. That’s only where Denny’s body is, it’s not where he lives.”

27 October
What meals would be left in the fridge from Denny’s cooking? What Matt eats when Alan tells him to eat something from his family.

Have Matt spend the night at Pam’s after he gets arrested, while Rachelle is in the hospital. A moment of grace from Pam.

The truth of the story comes out at the 2/3 mark – at that moment, it’s been earned.

22 October
Ithaka – a perpetual rainbow hanging in the air because of the mist from the ocean crashing against the shore.

21 October
Ithaka – Nikki: I was putting the pieces of your life together so that if you wanted it, it was here for you.

It is no longer about the object itself, but the experience of that object and, then, the interpretation of that experience and the way in which we create meaning based on that interpretation. We accept the thingness of things as fact. This chair is this chair – I do not have to believe there is a Platonic ideal of a chair in my mind in order to know what a chair is and that the word ‘chair’ differentiates it from ‘couch.’

15 October
A “what’s next” story rather than a “what’s wrong” story.

13 October
“When what I want destroys what you want.” – Alan – how does what Alan wants (Rachelle) destroy what Rachelle wants (a stable home life for Matt and Denny)?

8 October
What if Denny’s gay? What if the real truth is that Denny was tricking for Hector rather than running drugs?

It’s less about the secret than about everyone’s reaction to it. – drama in the human, not the object.

How protective Rachelle is of the house – of keeping it clean – the forward view (by the time Alan and mom moved out, the house looked…)

5 October
When you compare yourself to someone else, you’re setting yourself up to lose. – Rosanne Cash.

29 September
Weight of memory – Matt “I have an excellent memory – funny thing about remembering – people give significance to what you remember – like if you remember the time your next door neighbor stole your favorite toy truck and can recall everything about it, it must mean you’re still angry, still holding on to it in some way. Same thing when you remember someone, it makes them think they’re special. We think what we remember has significance when all it means is those neural pathways havne’t decayed.”

The embarrassment we feel when someone says, “Don’t you want to have something from deep within you come out? Don’t you want to have your voice?” As if it is indecent, like exposing your soiled underwear to strangers when all along it’s what all of us are striving for anyway.

Denny has something of the dad’s in his room – Matt finds it when he goes in there. What? Idea of inheritance – memory – what gets passed on to other people.

26 September
Deepening, layering – how much information can I get into one sentence, one paragraph – how much detail, history. How real can I make this moment?

24 September
Where else will the image of the hand appear?

20 September
Playwriting assignment: I want to take on the setup as a metaphor – I don’t want it to be dead-on, but really as a metaphor. To come at it with the symbolic truth.

15 September
Matt remembers seeing Denny paint Rachelle’s toenails.

12 September
Mourning the loss of the idealized image of his older brother along with the actual fact of his brother’s death.

What makes me the most nuts about writing is how unpredictable it is. How much it is about trusting, really trusting the process and letting the words flow even though I’ve got no fucking idea where I’m with this day’s writing at all.

10 September
Does Matt feel guilty about getting arrested?

“Don’t suppress the metaphor.”

Think in terms of action instead of adjectives – “confused” = moving away from the conflict.

9 September
What Matt can’t think – that now that Denny’s gone, he can get his mother’s attention, that the baby threatens that. Which is at odds with what Rachelle thinks – that keeping her hands off Matt will keep him safe.

8 September
Sometimes I get caught up in the drama of things and forget about the drama needing to be located in the humans and in the human interaction.

I am concerned about the headphones in the limo. Matt is fixated on them – I suppose that’s find if something meaningful happens with them. Otherwise, they’re just stage directions.

Conversations have to carry on after the words stop being spoken – what’s unspoken has to be conveyed by facial expressions, gestures, body language.

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