I don't know if there's a name for it, but it's That Story. The first one you loved writing, the one you can never get right, the one you think that if only you did it in the right way it would be the best, the most original, the thing everyone would remember you for...
Attempting another re-write of my one of those. It's going okay so far, but I'm only on the second chapter. I know the story backwards, and I don't want to refer to old drafts anyway... If I miss something out it probably didn't need to be in the story anyway. I'm determined to do it right this time.
Now I just need someone to read it who hasn't read all 14 of the other drafts and squeals with excitement the moment they see the main character's name.
Oh cheesy opening lines.
Oh dear, I moved my desk around to make room for my drum kit, and have now found myself with a perfect view for staring at the clouds all day as they go past. It's not going to be very good for my productivity... Cloud-watching is one of my favourite activities. I wrote about clouds a lot once upon a time. Maybe I should again... this view certainly would help.
It's not like I'm easily distracted when I'm writing, but I do like looking up to think, and it's easier when there is just a blank wall in front of you - or even a curtain pattern that you have grown quite used to looking at - than when you have this amazing, deep vista of clouds that change their style every few minutes into something new. I'm terrible for staring at ambient video footage or visualisations for media players... Stuff that moves around and looks pretty, but actually means nothing.
It's raining out east of here, but where I am it's sunny... A big wall of clouds stand between me and the sun, so the sky is shaded enough to look at, though mostly blue where I am. It's actually gorgeous.
Anyway. Must get back to my NaNoWriMo. Maybe I'll put in some cloud description for some extra word count.
Won't demonstrate here.
I've had probably 8 hours sleep... over the last 3 days. Today's my birthday, and I'm just miserable and grouchy, and I've cried twice, felt like the world was ridiculously over my head, and just useless. Been trying to look after a very vulnerable friend, and it's so hard to do that... I've never had to help someone in as worse situation as they were in before in my life. No idea what I was doing, but I did my best... Which just left me feeling guilty that I came home for my birthday, because I could only offer my protection while I was in that city, since I couldn't leave my friend with my key (and my housemate is the landlord's daughter so would know and be able to do something about it if I'd let my friend stay anyway) so I had to make her go to another house... When she'd told me I was truly the only person she could stay with for the sole reason that I am not a friend of her ex-boyfriend while everyone else she knows in the city are. She's staying with people she didn't feel safe with for that circumstatial evidence, and I'm home celebrating my birthday (I'm a twin and there's so many reasons I couldn't NOT go home) and... ARGH. Just argh. I still feel like I might cry.
And I can't write because I'm so tired. I've been putting down a few lines here and there, but I just don't have the brainpower to see a whole scene at once like normal... I'm failing to visualise things in the contect of my story so there's going to be so much editing... Blargh!
I've actually got a plan for Fries and a Milkshake, but I've barely looked at it since I wrote it out. Novels alone are the one thing I can use my memory for. Maybe it's *because* expend so much brainpower on them, but while I have trouble remembering what I went into the kitchen for, or a simple fact from a textbook, or anything like that I remember stories. My own, in particular. I can still remember how I felt about writing this scene or another years ago.
Anyway, point is, I'm running off memory instead of plans - which were pretty vague anyway - for Fries, and it's getting to the stage where I have 20,000 words, but I'm quite alarmed about what comes next. (Oh hey, that's the code for this smilie!)
Basically, I've been telling two different storylines for the first "day" (No matter how much flashbackery there is, I run my timeline from the start point onwards, so even though both this story and Instant Noodles picked out days over months of timeline for the narrative to meander through, I'm saying Instant Noodles took place over 4 days, and this one will be over 5.) Of course my plan gets vaguer towards the end, but I'm worried about how Lin has plenty of stuff still to go, while Mora is running thin. I can't really justify putting off her parts from the opening any longer, though, since I've been writing the scenes to interlink, even though there's sometimes up to a month time difference between scene A and B. Mora's timeline is getting closer to Lin's, and more references to them are working in so the stories are drawing together. I'm pretty sure it all kicks off at their 3rd meeting after their 1st that opened the story, and a 2nd just to show they were still on the same planet. So I guess at the moment I'm writing toward the midpoint of the story.
But the scenes that have been propelling me onwards are all pretty much way past that. Grargh. Is this blog entry really just about me being impatient? No, it was helping me think about what I have to do next and later. I might not have mentioned it, but saying such things helped.
(I am impatient though.. So, so impatient! Writing character-based fiction is so annoying because there's no way I can jump ahead based on my pitiful knowledge of What That Character Will Know 40 Pages From Now.)
I needed a place to talk to myself but I needed somewhere no one knows the stories I'm talking about. Just remembered that we have blogs here.
I was just thinking about the end of my previous story in this series I was writing. A friend who's read it all commented on how the title - "Instant Noodles and Beer" suddenly got applied back and made the whole story make sense in the last chapter. I quite intentionally meant to do that - in the opening scene, the 2 main characters are shown one eating noodles, the other drinking a pint. Then I went several thousand words without mentioning both at the same time - either beer, or noodles, but never both. Finally in the last chapter I threw in a ridiculously blatant title drop which pointed out, "Er, that guy's Instant Noodles, and that guy's Beer."
Not, really, you know, the most deep and thought-provoking metaphorical messages, when you read stories where characters are called, like, Contradiction, or something else that *means* something. But it works for my story. In a way it's good that they don't have deep metaphorical meanings. No one else would bother with spending 76,000 words trying to convey a point so simple as that. And I'm pretty sure the characters are deep enough in themselves that they don't need any more conventional personality archetype to wave around.
(alright, maybe I might have laden more meaning on the food and drink than initially appears - you'd have to read it to know. )
Anyway, now I'm writing the second, and was re-reading the first scene just to see how it was going. In this novel, I'm going for a much more disjointed timeline, and subverting pretty much everything I did in the first one. They both start with a very basic scene: characters, food stuff, a conflict of interests, and neither of them come out of the encounter as well-balanced as they entered it. But I figured with Fries and a Milkshake, the 2 romantic leads weren't going to be Fries and a Milkshake themselves. Maybe one of them is. Maybe they're BOTH Milkshakes, or they are Fries and a Milkshake, but not the Fries and a Milkshake that go together.
I need to work out the emotional significance of those two foodstuffs. I know fries are warming, and milkshakes are cold and, in this scene, spilled and replaced. I'm assuming from this, Katie is the chips - surprisingly nice, though actually awful for you. Caro is the ice queen, and I plan on her and Mora breaking up at least once in the timeline, so probably spilled & replaced.. though it's Lin who spills it, and Mora who brings the replacement.
Eh, I already had an extended metaphor about marble cake that broke down when I had to start personifying the cake back into Caro. I don't think I'm doing the literary world any favours writing these sort of things, but they looks smart on the surface.
Wait, that really doesn't work.
I think I've managed to sort it out in my head a bit, anyway. Caro and Katie have this big non-romantic character friction going on, so I could do the ultimate subversion on my themes from Noodles&Beer and make it a non-romantic food pairing.
Thanks for giving me space to type. I can only sort this sort of stuff out if I address it to someone rather than just to myself.
Separate names with a comma.