29 March 2007

day 8

it's been over a week now. i'm at 13'247 characters including spaces. i'm not sure i'll be able to finish the story before my friend t arrives here this evening. i still have some vacuum cleaning to do and should go to the post office, too. i'm thinking about following robert mcKee's advice and getting some index cards on which to put possible scenes. it's a scriptwriter's technique, but i think it could help.

i spent the better part of last night trying to re-arrange my original storyline for the book. as soon as i'll be on my own again next week, i'll have to start and develop my characters in writing. as of now, there are five of them who are important enough to require a detailed character sheet. i dread writing these, even though i know it will probably help a lot in bringing the story forward; events, locations and relationship details will occur to me more naturally, i hope. i think i might even have to come up with a new set of names for them. i'm not sure the ones i had chosen in the beginning match my new 'people'. it's weird how you think you know something about a character and then, when you try to put that down, a voice inside you screams NO, IT'S NOT LIKE THAT! and makes you settle with the complete opposite of how you wanted the 'person' to be in the first place. they really do develop a life of their own.

i probably won't get around to doing much posting this weekend. since i won't be able to write, either, i suppose that doesn't matter. ;)

have a nice weekend, my friends!

28 March 2007

as promised: a poem of 2005


octagonal pale
spider webs
to crawl
in to hook
in to relax
in fibrous nets
they hang where
they flank
a good view
of bright endless
aerial blue.

at a halt

i'm at 12'464 characters incl. spaces at the moment. yet again, the process of writing has come to a halt. for all of you who wonder why and how, here's an example (in german, sorry, but you can still get an idea of the thought process).

i'm trying to incorporate the idea of Die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit (remember stan nadolny's "The Discovery of Slowness"?) or the word Langsamkeit. thus, i'm trying to find an expression that perfectly matches style, tempo and flow of the rest of the story. this would go something like...

Habt ihr mal "Die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit" gelesen?
Habt ihr mal "Die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit" gelesen, frage ich.
Um die Stimmung zu lockern, frage ich: Habt ihr mal "Die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit" gelesen?
Ich versuche es mit Ironie: Habt ihr mal "Die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit" gelesen?
Hat einer von euch mal "Die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit" gelesen?
Kennt ihr "Die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit"?
Das, denke ich, ist die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit.
Wir entdecken die Langsamkeit.
Meine Großmutter zeigt uns die Langsamkeit.
Meine Großmutter lehrt uns die Langsamkeit.
Mit uns im Bad ist die Langsamkeit.

....and so on.

i try to go with the shortest one possible. here, that would be the last option which makes for 35 characters including spaces. you see: coming up with these phrases and deciding which one to use takes FOREVER. in this case, for example, i still haven't settled for one.

i don't normally write down all eligible possibilities, this was just to give you an idea.

day 7


this one was taken in chiang mai (thailand) back in 2005. i was writing a lot at that time, mostly english poetry. i'll check later on whether i have something post-worthy of that period...

furthermore, i have re-arranged the link list. there are two now, one linking to english sites and the other to german ones. in case any of you out there know more websites or blogs related to the writing life, wordart etc. please give me a hint.

27 March 2007

the bigger project

well, the story competition is nice, but the REAL goal is to compile a whole manuscript until the beginning of september. i had what i thought was a good idea for story. after thinking that idea over and over during the past weeks, i know i have to alter the idea at least inasmuch so i'll be able to write it. my original idea included a few unrealistic (read: phantasmagorial) ideas that i feel too unimaginative to realize at the moment. i guess i'll just save that idea for later and stick with a more naturalistic approach. depending on how long i'll be up tonight, i might even come up with more details regarding the BIGGER PROJECT. it's a shame i had to knock all older ideas on the head, as i used to have a nice theme and -erm- title for the original idea. but hey, life's a bitch!

i'm planning on finishing the first draft of the flood story by tomorrow, or, at the latest, by thursday. since i'll only be able to print it out in switzerland next week (for free, that is), it doesn't really make much of a difference.

11'854. 15'000 seems realistic. i need a break and will go to get food. every sentence takes ages to phrase.

day 6 - a late start

i have started rather late today, and the writing is going slow. yet when it goes, it goes smoothly, which is good. i have started one hour ago and am at 10'726. i hope that what i write won't need too much editing afterwards... that we will only see by mid-april, though.

i have thought about entering another contest, a poetry contest, yesterday, but i don't like the topic much ("only yesterday") and its due date is end of this week already. you're supposed to hand in three poems. i considered translating some of my older english ones into german, but realized that wouldn't work. for i don't like the topic, i know it's too late to come up with anything of much depth in two days. i tried breifly yesterday night, when in a very weird moment i suddenly thought: maybe poetry just isn't for me? considering that for nearly ten years all i wrote was poetry, i guess this is bullshit. then again, when i tried to string a few german words together last night, it didn't work at all. i realized that for poems, as of now, i prefer the english language. it has many short words, rhymes well and makes for a good rhythm. then again, i know nothing about rhythm, really. it's a shame they don't have more creative writing or poetry classes in high school here. i particularly remember a course in "war poetry" during my term abroad in new zealand in 1999. i loved it.

once back in constance, maybe i should try and offer creative writing sessions (i wouldn't want to call it "classes") for kids and teenagers?

26 March 2007

muddleheaded? - apparently so!

believe it or not, it just came to my attention that the fm4 competition's due date is 11 may only. i don't know WHAT i was thinking when i memorized 30 march. but hey, now i have enough time to really work something out. i mean, i will still work with the text i have started and try to finish it as soon as possible, but it will be good to let it rest for a couple of weeks and get back to it with a fresh mind.

day 5

10'015 characters with spaces. i'll never make it to 30'000. while that doesn't really matter, i wonder whether less than 15'000 will suffice for the judges to assess my whatever. as of now, i need a break.

on a sidenote
i made a real bargain today: found a 6-dvd oliver stone movie collection for € 19,99 this morning. it includes jfk (director's cut), any given sunday (director's cut), natural born killers, heaven & earth, oliver stone's america and his biography. sweet!

i tried to get hold of the stanley kubrick collection, too, but that one was out of stock.

25 March 2007

day 4, III

8'129 character with spaces. i'll have to stop for today. the last seven lines alone took me 90 minutes to write. as they are some of the most important, i don't mind having spent so much time on them. the by far bigger problem is that i am already three quarters through the story and thus will never need 12'000 characters more. i guess i'll just finish it first an see whether there's anything else i could add. i have always tended to keep things short and simple - filling a text up to me is closer to the idea of wearing it out than anything else, really.

today i have for the first time told my mother what i am working on at the moment. she didn't say much apart from that she'd like to read the story once it's submitted. i offered she could read it as soon as it's finished, but she declined. i guess she did so because she suspected she's in it and didn't want to influence my creative process, so to speak, by giving her version of events. this means i'll have to find someone else to test-read... anyone??

day 4, II

not 1'000 words including spaces, but characters. CHARACTERS. at this very moment, i have written a total of 1121 words or 6'910 characters including spaces. just a few moments ago it dawned on me that today is the 25th of march already. this means i should have a complete first draft by the day after tomorrow. that'd give me one and a half days to revise, which isn't exactly much time. i know i don't have to come up with 23'000 more characters/ spaces, but i think i should try for 13'000 more. i'll see what i can do... and will let you know.

day 4

today - up to right now, at least - it's going way better. i have written 1'000 words (with spaces) in 40 minutes. and no, it's NOT all spaces.

also, now i find that all hope isn't lost when it comes to my writing of yesterday. i have decided to stick with what i have written and alter whatever needs to be altered later on.

24 March 2007

day 3

today was my third day as a full-time writer. matter-of-factly, i haven't been up to much writing so far. i have finished reading robert mcKee's excellent book on storytelling and scriptwriting, and am currently trying to apply my newly acquired theoretical skills in practice. there's a german writing competition launched by austrian radio station fm4 that i'm planning to partake in. it's topic is "flood". the due date of march 30, 2007 is very close, but unfortunately, i have only found out about the competition yesterday.

i came up with topic, characters and imagery of my story rather quickly, but encountered numerous difficulties when i tried to actually start and write it today. after approximately five hours i had amassed a total of 3'222 words, including spaces. this equals a bit more than one page in 12pt font and isn't exactly much. nevertheless i was quite proud of my accomplishments and liked what i wrote... until, say, five minutes ago that was. i have taken a second look and don't like much of what i see anymore. this, as you might imagine, poses several problems:

firstly, it kills the better part of any self-esteem with regard to my writing plans i have accumulated in the past week. what has started out as a hopeful career is smashed to pieces by my inner critic. the words i thought matched my ideas well appear ill-chosen, and the text seems to lack all atmospheric composition i was trying to create during the day.

secondly, it kills all hopes of living my dream-life as a writer. the alternative way of living i had envisioned for myself - at least right now - seems completely out of reach. i wonder how everybody else finds the courage (not to speak of the money!) to keep going. suddenly, wanting to become a writer seems utterly insane.

thirdly, with the above considered, it's going to be so hard to keep going. while i am definitely not a quitter per se, i have been easily frustrated with things i can't master from the very beginning on. so stagnating at this early stage in itself is highly irritating to me. different from physical abilities like snowboarding, though, this time i will have to stick around and work it out. abandoning writing is simply not an option.

in order to get my act together, i will have to adhere to a stricter time-schedule. this means, for example, limited hours of internet access a day. i am wasting way too much time lingering around online network sites, other people's blogs and homepages of general interest. as long as it's not for research, i'll have to cut back on internet surfing massively. i have also thought about turning my phone off, but i suppose that would go all too far. altogether - and this is another unexpected backlash - i had highly underestimated the amount of planning necessary to even be able to write circumstances-wise. while all deadlines approach, right now i just feel trapped in this ever faster spinner of procrastination.