Thursday, October 11, 2007

What's in the Box?

That is the theme for my own personal media conglomerate. (I'm sure it says something that I don't have a lone TV station, radio station, or web site for my internal media. It's a conglomerate. At least, that's what the voices tell me.) Anyway, early in the book I'm working on, I wanted to up the ante for a scene, so I added a box. The box isn't opened. It's just a closed, locked box, about 5in by 6in by 1in, covered in dusty, musty smelling leather. Two characters steal it for someone else, without knowing what's in it. My plan was to have them steal the box to get the plot moving. Then they would turn it over to the person who wanted them to steal it, and the box would disappear. Unfortunately, the box refuses to disappear. It's a "gun." In playwriting, if you introduce a gun in act one, it has to fire in act three. The gun is just an example of the principle that everything you introduce at the beginning of a story is a promise. And by the end, you have to deliver on that promise. In my case, once I introduce the box so early in the story, it has to play some role before the end of the book, and someone has to open it. So I'm left with the box. I don't know what's in it, but it had damn well better be something good. Later, I'll tell you what my wife said was in the box. In the meantime, what do you think is in the box?
You might be wondering, after my previous post, why I'm talking about my writing. Two reasons. First, I track the visitors to this site, and I can say authoritatively that no one really comes here. (If you do visit this site, thanks, I appreciate it. But it's pretty much just you and me.) So writing here is more like journaling or talking to myself than it is blogging. Second, from what I've said here, do you really know that much more than you did?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Novel, Draft One, Day Two

I had forgotten about this: writing a first draft is always an exercise in learning to ignore myself. I want to know if I'm in the process of crashing and burning, but at this point, my gut does a spectacularly poor job of evaluating my writing. My first drafts always suck. I'm much better at revising my drafts than I am at creating them. In general, life would be so much easier if I could just get things right the first time.