I could feel at the time
There was no way of knowing
Fallen leaves in the night
Who can say where they are blowing?
(More than This :: Roxy Music)
I am in a constant state of trying to understand what I am doing. As if my actions are a whole, separate, other part of me that my brain has to stop and shake itself at, saying things like What are you trying to get across here.
This happens a lot in writing.
There are scenes, when writing, that you’re not sure if they need to be written. They seem sort of useless and uninteresting and every time you sit down to write them, they somehow fall short of what you anticipated from your style. It is missing flourishes and interesting patterns in word choices. Instead everyone moves around as if their knees are locked and they’ve got wooden spoons in their mouths.
Maybe it’s not you, but, it is me.
I’ve written this scene three times by now. Really. An entire three times and it always comes out the same. There are mean people and they cause chaos, because, it seems to work best when there is a problem right off the bat in the story – at least, some bit of action I can then take a well deserved rest from for a while, but, I need that action up front. I like physicality, so, there’s a fight. But, really, it just ends up boring and wasteful and all of my main character’s friends are bland. I would send them on a train and get them out of my apartment if I were him.
So, I’ve learned after all this, I do not want this scene in my story and yet, AND YET, I have no idea what should go there instead. I am running under the suspicion I won’t know what should go there until I’ve written the rest of the thing. That’s a lot of moments from now, though, and for now, I need something there, don’t I. I could leave a big empty hole, or, I could write it anyway and just see how I can replace it later.
Eventually I’ll figure it out, right?
So I wrote it, in all it’s broken ankle and pasted-on-word glory. It’s two-thousand more words then it needs to be, but, it exists, and now I can leave the diner and let the main characters sort of fall in infatuation with one another. I can go back to discussing the sticky humidity of the streets and the sweat collecting on the creases of their noses. And later, I can drive right through it with my car full of better ideas and unload the contents of the trunk in a blinding-bright-and-better manner.
For now though, I’m letting it be.
That’s some kind of process all it’s own.
I’ll admit to never listening to Roxy Music before I accidentally, somehow, ended up with this track on my playlist. Can we call it somewhat fortunate? I finally feel on-point with what people anticipate me to listen to, I guess…