Here’s the problem. I’m writing diligently on Chesaleen and getting into the wicked flow of the moment, angels dancing on heads of pins and the typewriter muse singing to me in Olivetti and such, and I suddenly realize there’s no story. None. The whole thing is going nowhere and seems to be mysteriously levitating, waiting for something to actually happen.
It’s possible to write seven pages of a story and find out it isn’t a story at all. It’s a prose poem or an articulated photograph or something. People talk and there’s insight and self-delusion enough to go around, but the action of getting from Point A to Point B just never materializes.
It’s entirely possible I’m writing outside my genre – not that I chose one in the first place. It chose me when I was a little girl. It’s frustrating to be labeled and even more so when it’s self-labeling, but it appears that at least for tonight, I’m a poet. Or a memoirist. Or a blogger. Dammit. Tonight I wanted to be a novelist.
So I have seven pages of Chesaleen sitting in the dark and listening to trains. I could cheat and call it backstory, but that’s just semantics. I’m going to put these pages away for National Rewrite Month and maybe they’ll look different then, but I doubt it. I like it too much to wad it up, although if I had a fire going I might consider throwing all seven pages into the flames, just for effect.
Maybe I’ll just have Chesaleen set something on fire.
4 thoughts on “NaFloScribMo and the Incredible, Levitating Draft”
my goal this summer is to allow myself to write outside my genre. my self-imposed genre is poetry, but i let myself dabble in creative non-fiction. i want to write a short story, though. i want to write a short story really bad. and i’m trying, oh, i’m trying. but i’m getting nothing.>>keep on with chesaleen. i love her.
I think I know what her secret is, Monda.>>It’s that she’s a shameless tease, right? She leads people on, and just when they get interested, she’s gone.>>Oh wait. That’s you.>>C’mon, don’t toss it out. You had me in the first paragraph!
Well, that’s one of her secrets. A woman should have many, really – otherwise the boys get bored.>>You know it’s true.
Tim, I’m almost convinced the genre-block is a self-fulfilling prophecy. >>I know for certain that in my walking-around life, I’m a storyteller. So are you. Why then is it so hard to get these on paper, plot and all? >>I’m calling my new genre Plotless Fiction.