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Banished to the back room

Well, my wife kicked me out of the living room until I'd gotten the writing done that I'd been complaining about "not having time" to do. Mean wife! But I showed her by writing another big chunk of my current story-in-progress, "Painting Haiti."

For whatever reason, this story has been giving me fits, probably because I'm not just sitting back and letting myself tell the damn story, as I should be doing. I don't have an outline for this story at all, which is a big change of pace for me. I'm trying to let the story evolve "organically" (okay, quit rolling your eyes, y'all!). It's an experiment.

From what I wrote today, the experiment appears to be working! Once I sat down and avoided all other distractions, I could almost see the scenes in front of me, and I left placeholders in various places where I knew I be able to come back later and add better detail than I could've done today. So it's all coming together, and while it's running a bit long, I think I can edit it into shape once it's written.

Stories are fun -- they don't feel as "responsible" as novel chapters. If you screw up a novel chapter and take a character off in the wrong direction, your whole novel may get hosed. But in a story, it seems like I can just about go anywhere, and still be able to pull it all together by the end. I hope.

Of course, maybe it's okay to "screw up" a novel chapter and go wherever the story and characters take you. Maybe you don't need a map at all. Just get in the shotgun seat of the car and let the character drive you around, and hope that the bumps in the road don't muck up your handwriting too much.

Okay, it's 5:00 -- my exile has ended! Now it's time to see about maybe ordering some breadsticks and pizza (in that order, too -- Lizzie's on a bread kick -- or should I say the the Jasperito is on a bread kick!) and then maybe reading a little Harry Potter... Later!

Now Playing:
"Lost Dogs," Pearl Jam

Now Reading:
Harry Potter 4, JK Rowling

Today's Quote:
This canvas was covered, and the realization of the painter hit Claudia like a blast of Mace to the face. Mr. Archer had always preferred the corner of the small room, close to the window and as far from the other students as possible.

Claudia took a deep breath before touching the thin cover hiding the painting from her. She tried to remember what Archie had been working on, but in her almost constant state of fatigue for the past few weeks, she couldn't remember. Maybe another of his angry abstracts, with some odd detail of realism almost hidden in the slashes of paint. For a while he'd been obsessed with car wheels and hub caps, though recently his work had been almost completely abstract. Reality had been hard enough on Archie, and he didn't like it intruding on his art.

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