Thursday, March 21, 2013

Your Keyboard Will Grow Hair

One of the problems with writing for pleasure is the pleasure part.  When you find yourself truly enjoying the progression of the story, chances are your plot is going absolutely nowhere.  A few weeks ago, I read Anthony Bourdain's "Going Bamboo."  A novel, and something that was quite a pleasant read for a while.  It takes place in the Caribbean so while the freezing rain whipped the shit out of the house's new paint job, I took refuge in my chair and Bourdain's book.  A couple of blankets and I could almost sense simulate being on a sunny island if I ignored the fact that I hadn't seen sun in twelve days, it was twenty eight outside, I was so pale I could light up a room and my dry skin left a chaff like trail all around the house thick enough to protect me from even the latest generation of surface to air missiles.

Bourdain (and I should interject that I've read Kitchen Confidential, Medium Raw and am now in mourning on Monday nights when No Reservations and The Layover have been supplemented with two fat guys who will, respectively, shove anything and as much as possible, into their pie holes) does a lovely job describing drinks by the pool, dinners in an off the road shack that only the locals know about but which serves the best jerk pork on the island.  The conversation is sparkling, the company is beautiful and witty, but in the end, nothing is really happening other than his character's are on permanent vacation.  Oh well, I guess we have to go home, get the guns out and shoot the hell out of something.  Otherwise, we'll never get to tomorrow's naked beach party. 

I'm having kind of the same issue right now.  I'm writing another book, my second unpublished novel, and I'm having fun doing it.  Therein lies the problem.  It does have a plot, it is going somewhere because I'm writing it the way I usually write books:  a couple of chapters to introduce characters and scenarios, see if I like them and then I write the last chapter and end the book.  If the ending is compelling enough to me to try and get to, I usually have a novel within a year or so.  That's the case here.  The ending is very compelling and there's a lot of ground to be covered between where I am and where I'm going.  Trouble is, some of that ground is very soft and pleasant and I'm loath to leave it to move forward. 

Yes, yes, there's a jealous husband who has to be faced down.  There's a bad guy filtering money through exclusive horse stables.  But there's also a twenty five year old in your bathtub with a glass of wine, so what's your hurry to get out the door? 

That I've based my twenty five year old on a friend whom I miss and shall never see again isn't helping.  Paragraphs will be spent on hours at dinner, or glasses of wine on the porch only to be cut out eventually since they add nothing at all to the story.  That's all right.  I'll luxuriate in recounts of what never was, what could have been and what will never be since I buried the inspiration for my character almost a year ago.

I kind of feel like a nagging mother.  I'm in a chapter where my protagonist couple have just come back from Key West (told you I would get stuck on the pleasurable) and are hanging around the house on a Sunday evening with wine and cheese.  Sorry kids, Monday comes in fiction as it does in reality and you have to get out there and do the stuff that moves the story forward.  Unless I stop typing, of course.

Bunny on.


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10:02 PM  

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