Feb. 5th, 2016

butterflydreaming: "Cris", in blocks with a blinking cat (Default)
A week or so ago, Brain Pickings (the newsletter) had a quote from Ernest Hemingway, on writing, in which he stated this method: write until something interesting is starting to happen, then the next day, start writing again from the beginning. Rinse, repeat. I've been thinking about that ever since.

Putting aside that he may very well have been intending to scare off wannabe writers who won't put in the work, these are the thoughts I've had: 1) what would that do to the way the story was told, and 2) could I do that? (I don't mean, rewrite sections, but rewrite from the beginning each day.)

What comes to mind is That Guy, the one who tells the no-shit-there-i-was big fish story that gets honed in the retelling. That Guy has learned what gets the reaction, the laugh or the rolled eyes. He knows the story so well that he can tell it inebriated and still hit the timing. That will be the guy who gets asked, "tell about that time you..."

After a week of thinking about what "can I do this?" means, I have decided that a "day" would have to mean a creation day, because I top out at 2K, with 500 words being more typical, on a chronological day. I'd never finish anything but flash.

Retelling familiarity, I think, is why some things are easier to write than others. At least for me, it can't be only visual. I have to hear the words in my head. The first 20K of Stadium were like trying to write in a foreign language. Pulling them out was literally that, and it didn't matter how well I could see the narrative in my head. The mental version has a soundtrack. It has the storyboarding of Production IG and Guillermo Del Torro colors. The written version is made of stiff cardboard, cut out of shipping boxes, scribbled with crayon in the later passes.

I know this story, but I don't know quite how it sounds, yet.

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