Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Perseverance

A lot of times I write in this blog because I've read something else that inspired me to do so.

I believe that is right and just.

Unfortunately, I then get to the blog and realize that all my creative juices are really just a pale shadow of the creative work of others, so naturally I move on to bitter diatribes against those in better position than I.

I figure, if I'm not going to create, I may as well destroy. Clearly, I believe in an obliteration of the status quo, regardless of the direction that takes us all.

Does this mean I'm a democrat?

Ha! Political humor!

Anyway, I've been at a stand-still and a crossroads with my book for the last little while. I'm starting to get that hankering to write more frequently these days, but every time the desire to write strikes, I can't decided whether to start something new or add-to/change/fix something old (i.e. my book).

This is problematic. At least, it is some of the time. Half the ideas the ideas simply wouldn't work in my book.

For example, here's the rudimentary beginning to a new story idea I've been playing around with...



The best stories usually begin with a really great opening sentence. Or at least a great opening paragraph. Authors like to bring up men in black or “In the beginning.” Honestly, most of those stories are probably better than this one, especially if you enjoy plot, suspense, humor, intrigue, or divine inspiration.

Nevertheless, this story exists with all of its many imperfections. Perhaps that is for the best. How can we know the great stories, if we don’t have a few terrible stories to compare?

As I was saying, the best stories have great beginnings. This story does not. If this story were to great stories as pond scum is to Aquafina water, then the beginning of this story is – at best – the primordial soup that conceived of pond scum and thought, “Hey! Now there is something we can really look forward to achieving!”

This story begins in a closet.

It is not a magical closet. If you walk into the closet and close the door behind you, you won’t suddenly find yourself in some fantasy kingdom with talking rodents and Jesus-Lions. Nope, this is just an ordinary closet. On the floor of this closet is a pair of boots.

If you were curious, there is nothing particularly special about the boots either.

Actually, that is not entirely true. If you were to define “special” as ugly, worn, and a particularly gnarly shade of blue, then they were just about as special as a pair of boots can be.

In about two hours, a nineteen year old girl is going to open this closet, pull out these boots, and put them on. Somehow, beyond all the evidence to the contrary, she has convinced herself that they are cute.

Had the boots the ability to think and form opinions, they may have taken affront at this statement. They made it through three generations of feet. Surely boots at that stage in life ought to be given the courtesy and respect due their venerable age! Kids these days!

Fortunately, the boots did not have this ability. Also, being a combination of rubber, plastic, cloth, and cow skin, they would not have been about to act out their irritation, even if they could think.

However, all of that is still two hours off. For now, the boots are just sitting there, doing not much of anything and really expecting not much of anything.

Which is why, if they had eyes, the ability to think, and a bit more interest in the world around them, they would have been very surprised when the jacket hung on the rack above them bellowed, "Ah ha ha ha ha ha!"

A pair of dress pants hissed, “Shh! Do you want them to hear us?”

“But I just thought of something hilarious,” replied the jacket, plaintively.

At this point, the pair of boots probably would have moved beyond surprise into the sad realm of Thrown Out Preconceptions.

“Hey,” rumbled a pair of slingback flats, “I thought of something funny last week.” The pair paused. “Forgot what it wuz,” came the disappointed mumble that followed.

Had the boots been in the habit of making judgments, they would not have pegged the red and white polka-dotted shoes as something that would rumble when speaking. Fortunately, as might be guessed, the boots did not do a lot of pegging.

The dress pants spoke again. “Please! You are going to ruin everything! Remember Taiwan!”

This brought a thoughtful pause to the conversation. Taiwan had been a bad time. They all knew it. Actually, most of them knew it. The slingbacks thoughtfully paused because they were trying to remember what Tie-Won meant.

The boots remained silent, because they were just a pair of boots.




See? Isn't that a great time! And so completely and totally wrong for the book that I'm working on. Honestly, it might only be great for people with a really out-there sense of humor, like myself.

But I digress.

I do have an awful lot of thoughts that might better fit my novel. For example, I've been playing around with Interludes lately. They're a great time. They can add a whole new dimension. If you have 3 of them, you'll very effectively satisfy the reader's desire for sets of three. They would perfectly fit, if I decided to put the three Kansas books together, included a Prologue, and then put together two interludes. I'd suddenly have a 330 page novel on my hands and the world would be a brighter place.

As an additional bonus, I could end the first book exactly where I currently have it ended, and people wouldn't b*tch and moan about the semi-cliffhanger ending.

But do I really want to keep working on this book? Is it honest-to-goodness a strong enough story and plot to blow two or three more years of my life putting it together?

See. Difficult crossroads.

Ultimately, though, I think I should probably persevere. I'm a young lad, yet. I thought I was finished when I got to 119 pages all those many months ago. Now, through the miracle of editing, I know I was still a million miles away.

All of that is immaterial, though. This book may be the biggest load of crap ever, but I think it's essential that I finish it. Really finish it. In some previous post I talked about the pain of finishing and finding out that the result is really worse than the what-if. Perhaps that's true.

But at least I'll know.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you should finish it. Most of the joy of creating something should be in just creating it... not in whether or not it sells or others enjoy it, etc. You should finish it for you. Kay

Anonymous said...

what about tia-won? audrie

Kyle said...

I have no advice or encouragement, except to say that your story is funny and entertaining.