The Audible “Click”

alicesawdI’m in a bit of an “Odd Spot”, so to speak.

So many good things have happened to me lately under the “What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up” category. Now that it’s time to actually sit down and do the things I need to do to bring them to fruition, I have lapsed back into bad habits and only got so far as to do the sitting down part.

Week before last, I decided it was time to do something about the backlog of screenplays (one in final draft, some in the middle of first drafts, and many still in the outline stage), and reconnected with my Muse (not to be confused with The Moviequill’s “muse”, please) with a list of all of them, knowing I could count on a non-biased opinion. I was advised to go for the “easiest sell”, a little bit of fluffy comedy/romance called “Mona Monet” that really would sell quickly, I think, once dropped into the right pair of hands. This mind you, wasn’t even in the outline stage, yet, so I was starting from my “Ideas” notebook, but I had to concur at the time that it did seem to be the best one to work on, so I opened a blank page and started with my character outlines.

That much is done. The story itself is also “done” as far as sitting down to write it. The premise is there in my head, along with “beginning, middle, end” in the manner that I write. I just have to fill in all the gaps. This is supposed to be the fun part, because I don’t have to do any work now. This is the time that all the characters get up and breathe and interact without me, and I just type out what I see. About now, I should be having trouble keeping up with them.

Instead, they are all milling around on set in the location of the first scene (and they are not all supposed to be there!), talking amongst themselves, when they are supposed to be living their imaginary lives into reality. They are very successfully ignoring me, God, and having a cocktail party that I’m not invited to, apparently. So I’m going to ignore them back as punishment, for the time being. They’re alive enough now, that they’ll still be there when I’m ready to give them another chance, I think.

All the while I was supposed to be writing about a loud and brassy female tavern-owner, all I could think of was, “I should clean the cat-box”. That’s usually a good indication that my mind is not on what I’m supposed to be doing.

I’ve looked into the door of the room that houses my first script, “Standing Still”, which wrote Itself over four months at the beginning of 2002 (2002!!! Holy ol’ shit, Blogosphere!). It’s still there, in all its ginormousness, waiting for the third and final rewrite that will bring it down to a manageable (read, “sellable”) 110 pages. There’s even a chair in there for me.

But when I walked in there, ready to drop back into the world of a man slowly going crazy, and sat down, all I could think of was, “I should vacuum.”

So, now this past week, when I have a hard decision made about where to send “The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs” (which is why parts 1-4 have been temporarily removed from the blog), I decided to sit down and finish the story. I know it’s ready; I’ve made concessions with Ruby’s mom, and she’s decided to cooperate with me and tell me her plans.

[[EDIT: “The Waitress” is PUBLISHED!! Check out the middle ad below!]]

But when I opened a blank page, all I could think of was, “I want to buy a house.” So I dicked around, playing with numbers and touring the house. Every time I come to the conclusion that I don’t really want to buy this house, the deal gets sweeter. Maybe that ought to be warning enough, considering I’m not yet gainfully employed…? You’d think, huh?!

The problem seems to be, that quiet as I’ve managed to make my mind, I’m not hearing the audible click of the doors to any of those rooms closing behind me when I walk through them. When I hear that click, I know it’s all there, waiting for me to watch the movie and type what I see. In the past, not hearing the click has always meant that I missed a step. Something else has to be done first. I’m pretty sure it’s not buying a house. It could very well be the cat-box again, though.

I know… most writers would call this Writer’s Block. Me, I think it’s Fear. I’m tired of being afraid, and waiting around to start my life. At my age, I’m running out of life.

So (after I clean the cat-box), I’m going to go into Ruby’s room and I’m going to close the door myself. Hopefully, it stays closed.

Random Song for the Day: “You’re Beautiful” – James Blunt

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9 Replies to “The Audible “Click””

  1. As a novelist, I share your point of view. Never fear. Buy a house. Clean the catbox. But listen to your instincts and sit down and write a short synopsis. Things get clearer at that point. But, like any creative person, you must retan the ability to deviate from your plot – and then come back to it.

    In `Vegemite Vindaloo’ my novel, I introduced two outback characters with the intention that they would be bit-players for a page or two. Instead, they took over and became two chapters that brought comic relief.
    Good luck and keep in touch. It ain’t writer’s block – it’s creative overload. Let me know how you’re going and we’ll do this together.
    Keep smiling
    David

    Les Says: AH! A friendly voice from the ether! Thank you, David. Now, I worry that I may owe you money. Hope you can wait a little… ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. For heaven’s sake, the cat box will wait! Go quiet yourself and write, woman! Some people are waiting for the conclusion, you know.

    Les Says: Yes, the cat-box will wait. But Sheikh has been known to… not wait.

  3. I know what you mean Les. For me I have to get crying or laughing out loud about an idea before I’m ready to write about it. As long as I’m not overly emotional about it, it isn’t ready.

    But screenplays 110 pages long. Geez, I don’t think I could do that !

    Interestingly enough, the title of this post, “The Audible Click” has me thinking now too. What an interesting title for a story. And yes, I already see something, an idea is growing.

    We’ll see.

    Les Says: No, no, OldGuy… they’re ONLY supposed to be up to 110 pages long. The first draft of “Standing Still” was nearly *250*. It’s hell trying to get it pared down. I suffer from bloat, I guess – must be a girl thing.

    I look forward to “The Audible Click” from your point of view. Get crackin’.

  4. I sometimes think I’m a writer, but really I just write passable short true stories worthy only of a blog. You, my dear, are so gifted that you can write about “writer’s block” and make readers envious and ashamed of their own inadequateness.

    My plane crashed and burned and reading your words explains it all. However, I’m content…life will continue as it is.

    Say hello to Ruby for me and thank her for grabbing me by the sleeve and poking my nose into your mind.

    Les Says: Your stories are more than worthy, Mushy. You are an incredible writer, and I love your stuff. “Blog books” are getting popular, too – look what’s happened for Carol of Shrink Wrapped Scream. You have a way of dropping people with similar experiences right back into their own pasts and waxing nostalgic. People need that. So thanks.

    Your opinion of MY writing, now… you have made my whole year. And you know the kind of year I’ve had.

    Les

    PS – Ruby Herself will be tickled pink when I tell her how much you love her story. She thought I was nuts to want to “borrow” and embellish it.

  5. I don’t believe in writer’s block, either. I think it’s just a catch-all term for “I ain’t writing.” Keep at it.

    Les Says: I no longer believe in it, either. “Shutting the door” myself is working. I think it must be all the kind words and support from Ruby’s fans. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. G’day Les,
    What do we want to be when we grow up, you ask?
    Hmmmm – do I have to grow up?
    I’d rather not!
    Keep smiling
    David

    Les Says: Very good point. I shall grown down instead. I will be 25 on my next birthday.

  7. Thought I’d pop by, rummage around your blog, laugh, read some more, ponder on how funny YOU are, and generally make a nuisance of myself.

    Thank you for your compliments.

    BTW – I’ve been prompted to add a Blogroll to my blog and include ‘Where The Walls are Soft (interesting title ;-)).

    BTW -At moments of indecision I take one purring large cat…externally.

    BTW – Have you ever read ‘Writing Down The Bones’ by Natalie Goldberg?

    BTW – I had a character called Ruby.

    Purrrr,

    Jim

    Les Says: Thanks for the visit – hope to see you here on a regular basis, seeing as how you just gave ME the ultimate in compliments. Compliment YOU? I wasn’t kidding when I said I was jealous. Feel free to make a nuisance of yourself whilst here – just clean up after. Do some laundry, too, would you?

    And in reply to your BTWs…

    I’m proud to be an instigator. As for the title, well, it’s been an interesting life.

    I have a large cat that quacks as well as purrs, or rather, he has me. He says if I can’t write and pet him at the same time, I should quit writing. So much for decision-making.

    No. But, I will now.

    Where can I meet “your” Ruby?

    Preen,

    Les

  8. Ah Les, I’m soo with you, girl! I always find a million things I just HAVE to do before sitting down to let that pesky whining five-year-old out of her box again. Ireland forced me to run out of excuses. No internet, no telly, no house to clean, and rained in for seven days does tends to help to focus you !

    It sounds as though it’s all there waiting to tumble out, it’ll come. It had better – I want to know how Ruby is!!

    Les Says: Welcome Home! It is coming, albeit slowly. Of course, I’ve hit on a “future” snag pertaining to where the story ends up when it’s finished. But, I have to finish it first, really, don’t I?

  9. I came here from Mushy’s place, I like what I have seen, I will be back for a closer look, stop by my place some time

    Les Says: Welcome to Where the Walls are Soft, Sarge! I’ve seen you kicking around Mushy’s Moochings a few times. Thanks for coming by, and I will most certainly pay you a visit soon.

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