Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LIFE IMITATES ART over and over again.

Here is an example of the way that I think....
Once, when things were gong really badly for me in my young career as an artist, I decided to give it all up
and do something else with my life that seemed more practical. So I enrolled in an architecture class. And almost immediately I got into a feud with the professor who challenged me on my aesthetics. So that didn't last long and I found myself back in the studio, making art with renewed energy.

More recently, when I hit a big bump in the road and swerved off into a ditch, I got up and dusted myself off and decided that I should take a more pragmatic approach to my life, I decided that I should write a novel. This is what I should do. This would the way out of my struggles and into the "Good Life" that I'd been looking for. So anyway, I started to write a novel and got myself fully invested in the process. I worked like mad; waking up in the middle of the night and spending my afternoons at home pounding away at the computer. Writing and revising, going forward and backwards, never looking up to see how things were going. When I finally did take a deep breath and look up, it seems that what I had come up with with about three pages of incredibly insightful character development, about a guy who seemed remarkably just like me.
The only problem was that I had come to the point in the story where the protagonist actually has to "DO" something. The story has to have some action. Well, I couldn't think of anything. I did not have a clue...
So I did what I always do and got back to work in the studio.
This may not be the most practical way to spend my time nor will it do anything to get me out of my current position, but at least over there,
I always seem to know what I am supposed to be doing.


Spatula said...

Heh. I've been itching to write fiction, and "so what the hell happens?" was a major stumbling block. I seem to be getting over it in 2 ways - rather than starting with a novel, I'm starting with screenwriting, which is "stuff happening" more or less by definition. Which segues into the second way, which is that writing drama(rama) rather than literchure forces you to look at the story. Not mood or scene snippets or themes or characters - all of that will happen in due time once you figure out the story you want to tell, the what happens. It's the elevator speech summary, and it used to make me blech, but it's damn useful. Once you have a grip on that, figuring out *how* the thing happens is much easier and more fun, but plot, characters, story beats, style all rise out of that one seed - the answer to the question "what happens?".

...I think I just fooled myself into thinking I know what I am doing, writing-wise.

I flee into the studio when I get bewildered at writing, but half the time I don't know what I am doing there either. So you're steps ahead of me there :-D

Anonymous said...

Kid, I know a few guys in show business. I think we can do something with this.

Anonymous said...

I hear you.
I have the story in my head. I lack the discipline to write the damn thing.

Brad Green said...

Just write literary fiction. Nothing has to happen in that.

Jessica the Minx said...

As a writer, I make a good

Spatula said...

"Just write literary fiction. Nothing has to happen in that."

Shyeah, that makes for a rollicking good read.