Thursday, October 06, 2005

Following My Heart

Several weeks back, a conversation with my wife led to my being struck by a lightning bolt. The absolute perfect title. My story ideas often begin that way--no characters, no plot, no theme, just a title that rings true in some way and compels me to write a story to fit it. Anyway, I'm not ready to reveal the title yet, so I'm going to refer to this project as my Secret Project for the time being.

The story is revealing itself slowly, building in my mind one stone upon another. I finally had to put everything else aside yesterday and write the opening scene. It's really damned good. That's just my opinion, of course, it has not been confirmed by independent bouble-blind studies. Got 800 words. It's a story about Baby Boomers being run down by middle age in the Deep South. I hope it will be accessible to anyone, but Southerners will find things in it just for them that others may not quite catch. It's humorous and strange, in a kind of a Southern Gothic way.

I realize going in that this story may not ever see the light of day. It's entirely possible that it will never progress much beyond the first chapter or three. I'm OK with that. It's a real blast to write. I'm just going to have to follow these people around and see where they go and where they end up. Maybe a real story will develop, maybe not. In the meantime, this is my backup for those times when I need a break from my "real" writing.

I have an addictive personality. I have a deadly tendency to get obsessive about my current interests to the point that they become "hafta"s instead of "wanna"s. I hafta finish that story. I hafta outline the next chapter. I hafta know everything possible about some field that has a relatively minor impact on the work at hand. I hafta work. And it becomes work, it gets to be more about production than about the words, telling the story. I frequently need to remind myself to take a break, cool off, let it rest for a day, have some fun. That's what the Secret Project is for. It's vacation time, Disney World for my mind. Anything's possible, no matter how insane.

Will I post snips? We'll see. I'll have to get my courage up. This story is in no way politically correct, and some of my female friends might start screaming for my head on a platter.

Melly, I'm trying to put that lost post back together, but I can't quite get a grip on it right now. Maybe this weekend I can recover some of the thoughts and get back into the flow. No promises, though. My mind works in mysterious ways, its wonders to perform.

Added: 4:30pm
"My mind works in mysterious ways" I just realized my narrator and his wife are named Danny and Sandy. LOL! I swear I didn't do that on purpose!


At 9:29 PM, Blogger Jean said...

My work tends to come in titles, too. I kinda' like that.

At 9:58 PM, Blogger Heather Lynne said...

If someone gets offended by fiction, then they deserve to be offended.

If you want a reader, I promise that I won't get offended. You've got me interested now.


P.S. The dagnabit comment checker thingies are driving my dyslexia batty. Okay, I was already batty, but that's not the point. LOL

At 12:05 AM, Blogger Melly said...

Carter, just to get this out of the way then, we can just scream for your head on a platter already and be done with it :)

I love reading your work process. It's always very interesting and makes me wish I had some of these hafta qualities ;)

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Carter said...

Jean, I kinda like it, too. I have a hard time coming up with a title after the fact, usually.

Heather, I may take you up on that offer. You may be sorry. :)
You can use HaloScan for comments when it works. It's a little easier on the eyes.

Melly, you'll hafta take a number and wait in line. :) I'm backlogged right now.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Jean said...

As for your head on a platter, try me, Carter. I dare you. (Which is my roundabout way of saying if you need a reader, I'll give it a try.)

I'm having a problem with Twilight right now. It's not living up to the vision I had for that title. I can't figure out what else to call it, so I guess I have to do some kickass revisions to make it live up to what my mind sees it being.

At 1:28 AM, Blogger Joel said...

Sounds a bit like me. What do you do with the other projects?

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Carter said...

They'll wait. They're very patient. I'm only working on this one in odd moments when I need a break and feel the need to get really strange and vicious.


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