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The Edge of Propinquity

When you stand on the edge, what do you see? Stories....

"Credencium" started over 12 months ago as a vague idea that was hurriedly turned into an outline over the span of several days. I've  had a soft spot for magical realism, and gutterpunk culture, and the mixing of the two for a while. I wrote my first NaNoWriMo with such a mindset (trunked and/or burned), and have another novella that needs just a bit more TLC that I should get back to some year. I either hung out with or was in a crowd that hung out with a lot of gutterpunks my first two years of college, and while I don't remember a lot, I remember being impressed by their diversity, passion, quirks, and, depending on the punk, antagonism towards social norms.

In gearing up to write "Credencium" I did what research I could online—there's not much. Anecdotes, the occasional article. I found one art series in particular by Darci Pauser titled "Pigs and Poop", and her blog on houselessness; I mined that for what information (and what memories) I could. She was kind enough to send me some of her notes to work off of, as well. I even did some volunteer work in a soup kitchen for homeless youth (not so much out of the good of my heart, but because I...well, because at the time I could, and because I wanted that to inform my writing). I'm not entirely sure it did, and I know it drained time away from my writing, but I'm glad I did in any case.

My wife has told me: never again! I'm a horrible procrastinator. I want that burning spark of inspiration to drive every word on the page, and I do all the writer tricks in the book to find it. I'm sure I caused Jennifer no end of heartburn with my "last-minute...past-the-last-minute...where-did-you-disappear-to..." timing. I was apologizing for delays every other month. I would be writing, or trying to write, every night, every waking scrap of not-working, days up to the deadline and through it. Even if I didn't put a word on the page, didn't have a single idea form, I'd lose the night to worrying at the problem of how exactly the next scenes were going to work out. Coffee, sleep deprivation, sugar, ...these are what primarily informed my writing, beyond my need to play with belief and reality.

It was a very strange experience writing to an outline that I'd set myself, hitting a deadline once a month; watching the characters evolve, details and backgrounds working themselves out as I went. I have characters just barely mentioned in the story that I wrote that I'd love to delve into more deeply (Hunin and Munin especially). I rarely hit my outline—almost always leaving things a scene, or two, before the end that I'd plotted, trying to develop a feel for just the right amount of cliff-hanger and resolution. I'd often jump in a scene or two later than what I'd plotted as well, trying to pre-emptively cut chaff from the story. There's a lot that isn't written, some of which I just hadn't figured out, but I think for the most part I did a pretty good job at writing the _right_ scenes, and I'm pretty proud of that. It was a great learning experience for me—though I doubt I'll ever learn my lesson on procrastination.

There's a lot of power in names, in naming yourself (I'm of the BBS generation, if not the internet generation, and between that and role-playing grew up with a plethora of self-given and group-given names), and there's a lot of room to play with that; there's a lot of self-actualization and self-discovery in self-naming. There's a lot of power in belief. And I hope I tapped some of that with "Credencium", and appreciate Jennifer Brozek (and The Edge of Propinquity) for having belief in the story, and giving me a chance to find it.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
zotsf
Dec. 20th, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
:)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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