Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I haven't been doing a lot of writing lately. The writing I have been doing is pretty crap, and this is what bums me out. Let's do an inventory, just of the stuff that I've started writing, not of the ideas for epic screenplays, etc.

There's Gasmask, the novel. It's crap, but with a really good idea/ending behind it that I like and thought I would be able to make work. But, even before I started it, I had a fear that it would garner Chuck Palahniuk comparisons from anyone who read it. This becomes more distasteful when you think about how bad a writer he is. I wanted to fill it up with Tom Robbins-style verbal linguistics and odd metaphors, but that would require talent. As it stands now, it's just canned misanthropy and no plot. I also need to do research about the making of amphetamines before I progress further. I mentioned to Evie that this book I'm writing sucks, and she pointed out that of course, the novel you write when you're 18 is going to suck, and that was such a duh fucking duh moment. And now I'm aware of it. I don't want to move on, because the thing I move onto will probably also suck. And I don't want to keep fighting this thing. So I'm moving on kind of, but I really wish I could get Chapter Six (the last thing I wrote) into some kind of shape. This is not to say that it's worse than the other chapters. The whole thing is really weak.

Then there's that short story, Shoppe. Did you know that I've read some Raymond Carver this year? Did you know I enjoyed it? No? That's because you haven't read the very little I have written. It's kind of an improvement because it gets past one of my weaknesses- my incredibly fast, hyper-compressed, no description at all, pacing. There's nothing in it that seems like me, though. There's no humor, no weirdness. There's an erotic-cake salesman. And the little research I've done suggests that the first sentence, which I really liked when I wrote it, is a total lie. I kind of hate the opening now. Here it is: "I've seen a lot of disgusting things in my day, and some of them, I've etched in sugar." Yeah. Feel free to tell me your thoughts on that sentence. But let's move on.

There's the six-page essay. That is not a lot of pages. But it is when you have nothing to say, really. I have an idea which I could turn into a one-page response paper. That is all.

The thing I'm most psyched on is the comic script, Patterns Emerge. This is the most "way-of-living-It's-the-way-I'm-living-right-now" thing. Kids and concerts and going nowhere. I started it in high school and it's proceeded to stall, with many of the ideas for dialogue forgotten. I want to get through the first chapter before Christmas. After the first chapter it gets weirder, which is what I'm looking forward to, as I can't really relate to it anymore. That first sentence describing the content? Kind of a lie in that my life is nothing like it right now. My life right now alternates between doing jackshit and freaking out about how much what I write sucks.

I kind of wish I could do what I did in the past, just crap out these little goofs with no artistic process but my friends seem to like. I haven't done that for a while. I don't really want to do it, except for the fact that these are the things that I look back on after a month and go "Hey, that was pretty good." When I look back at Gasmask, which I PUT THOUGHT INTO, I just go "this is pretty terrible."

Artistic progression doesn't seem to be happening, no matter how hard I push.

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