Consternated Outlining

Friday, June 17, 2005

More notes: (I had hoped to write a part of the story tonight, but I wasn’t sure where to begin. I didn’t want to start at the beginning, because I planned to show the MC popping the question in the first part, with some weirdness around it. I’m not ready for that yet. I thought about the flashbacks, but I’m not sure how I will get that through. In other words, I’m scared to start writing. I need more thinking or note writing or procrastinating. Damn it! I’m jumping in. It’s only a draft, and I’ll have plenty of time to go back and fix it up or change it wholesale. I’m such a wimp sometimes.

Part of my hesitation (and this is clearly a hesitation) is that I don’t know from whom I should be telling the story. (Yes, this feels exactly like that first day of Nano last year, where I stared at the blank screen and almost cried with the knowledge that I thought I had a story before I sat down, only to find that there was nothing there but emptiness and terrible, incapacitating fear. This time is not so bad because I don’t have that 50k looming goal, and Chuck looking over my shoulder laughing as he pounds out another 4k-word day. Damn that Vampire!) Because I’m a guy, and I have a terrible timing getting inside the minds of women (as if they had a mind—bang, I’d be sleeping on the couch, if Doolies wasn’t 1,500 miles away), the narrator will have to be the male character, which leaves me with two choices:

First, as I originally planned, the male character can be the skilled one. The problem with that is keeping the skills secret. I originally (that is, yesterday) thought that the skills would come out slowly as he revealed himself. That could work, of course. Second, the female character can be the skilled one. This is better for the mystery. As she reveals herself, the male character learns about the skills along with the reader, making it more natural to keep the secret, but turning the story into a more mundane story, as the woman would have little reason to reveal the secret, especially if I make the woman character secretive.

I know, I’m masturbating with my writing again. I should decide and move forward. I’ll have plenty of opportunity to change these decisions, and this talk is just that: talk that doesn’t in any way create the story, introduce the characters, or move anything forward. I enjoy these silly conversations because they requires such little thought, and I’m the eternal minimalist, something I’m trying to get beyond, but refuse to as I continue to write such crap as this. Damn. I know, I know, move on.

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Two years have passed since I met Kelly. I’ve met many people in my life, and many women, so many, in fact, that I’ve taken to categorizing them. When you get down to it, people fall into a bunch of large buckets. These buckets can relate to their looks, their personality, …