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    Saturday, January 07, 2006

    8 Fingernails

    Will someone please tell me why I just made the entire thing more complicated than it needs to be? I reprinted the thing, and was editing it, and now it’s changing again. Admittedly it’s getting nastier and the secret society is not remaining so secret anymore, but it just messes things up. It could have something to do with the fact that I’m watching four episodes of MILLENNIUM every night. It could have something to do with trying to sabotage my own deadline if it wasn’t for the fact that I do think it’s making it better. This part of the discovery process is always nerve wracking. Admittedly it’s also energizing. Occasionally you begin to write and things unfold like flowers you’re simply watching unfurl in the sun. That’s a pretty cheesy metaphor, but accurate. The characters take over and begin to tell their own story. Sometimes they lead you down a dead-end, but they’re always honest, and no matter how far they take you from where you want them to go, they always teach you something about themselves. So, when you put them back where they were before they ran off, you’ve changed them just a bit and this time the go where they should. The biggest mistake in my estimation is to not trust them. I make that mistake a lot. I try and force them into places they don’t belong. Every time I do they rebel and let me know I’m wrong. Even when you get it right though, there’s always someone heading down a dead-end. If you’re lucky you get 80% of the pieces right and no one notices the rest. I think that’s why short stories are so hard to write, at least for me, there’s not enough space to get to know the characters unless you rewrite the story a hundred times. I’m trying to trust them now, and their telling me it all has to change. That now works out to 20 pages a day, which as anyone can tell you is impossible if you’re starting from scratch. Something’s right here though. You know how I know? It’s because I’ve got fingernails again. I have eight of them. Admittedly I’d probably have ten but I’d done some serious damage to them before I forgot to stop chewing them.

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