Theorizing and sputtering about the Hemlock Club novel and how to learn to write. I need a car to go to Yosemite. Not much else.
How books saved my writing soul; plus whining about WordPress; and Eve Arden, Camus's Stranger, In the Fade, so, lots of potatoes ending with a burst of excitement.
How to create a fictional character? Lots of questions, maybe no answers. Includes a bit of psychology. This morning's struggle.
A dream; failure of creativity; my stupidity; Twitter squabble; pit of despair?; Blade movies; feeling drained and confused.
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel; a hard issue in writing; WordPress not great; bad movies; Austen's Persuasion.
YouTube discoveries; Mayim Bialik; extended cognition; new novel & the coming doom; movie criticism strikes sparks; book idea; horror in India.
Irritated at being irritated; stimulating the memory of readers; the days of Nog; addicted to soft living; books on how to write; writing longhand & keeping going; thoughts of a new novel try; and synchronicity.
Stronger and more vivid writing requires a variety of tools or models of expression. Here’s a partial catalogue of models, based on the example sentence, “She was angry.”
Getting inspiration; self-mastery books; psych quotes; movie reviews; sadness tweets; spirituality; racism; writing habits, etc.
I should not think of my effort as “writing a novel,” because I don’t know how to do that, and the thought makes me anxious. Rather, my old idea was to “accumulate scenes.” I can write scenes. It’s been five years since I wrote fiction...
Here are some notes on writing and “my method,” especially related to producing first drafts; from March of 2010. This was written early in my prison career; I will post further material on writing from the Prison Diary (which continues for another six years) as I get it dictated into the computer; this particular material...
A title occurs to me: The Curse of Lolita, or perhaps Lolita’s Curse, though the latter seems misleading. Or how about The Blessing of Lolita? I am not taken with it. Later thought: The Lolita Curse; this is the best version. I’ll live with it for a while and see. I’m thinking satire, which is not what I had in mind.
He appears unexpectedly, escorting the drunken Branwell Brontë to the Parsonage late in the evening. He is assumed by one of the sisters to be another drunk. When he arrives at the Parsonage the next day, the event has unusual interest...
Reading Lolita, enjoying it but also by turns annoyed and bored. It’s a peculiar book, makes me think that Nabokov was so afraid of his theme that he was unable to handle it with complete freedom—though it is, in fact, franker than I remembered.
Dawn grew like a time-lapsed flower. Sunrise went “sproing.” The sun came up with a clatter of castanets. Sunrise shattered the night. The sun shattered the mirror of the eastern sky.
Even as I think of saying, “The world doesn’t need more contenders,” etc., another voice pipes up: “So you’re content to waste your gifts.” No, I guess I’m not content, it’s probably accurate to say that I’ve never been content, with the possible exception of the time after I had decided that I wanted to be a novelist. I quickly discovered that what I really wanted was to have the perks without doing the work.
So, am I going to commit to writing, or not? Turning Pro? I think that I must—I think I’m at a “make or break” point in my life, and must make something lest I break something. It seems most natural to start each day with diary writing, unless some day I wake with an urgent need to work on another project. Of course, it would be a mistake to allow myself to be distracted by the diary to the point that I never work on anything else.
Reading Janet Malcolm: The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1994, hc. This is a book that I had taken to Dagny’s as a donation, never having read it (though I might have started it), then, on a later day, I retrieved it. It’s peculiar, as much about the writing of the book as it is about Plath & Hughes. Correction: about the researching, nothing about writing. Now, halfway through, I quite like it, and last night I even read three of Plath’s poems, the first three of Ariel. Her poems are like tea leaves...
There are some thoughts that are too horrible to be written down or even described. Some such thoughts came to me between 4:30 and 5:15 am this morning, thus I have no hope of getting back to sleep before I have to leave for the Hemlock Club at 9:00. Thus I again recognize my complete inability to control my own mind. At this moment, “free will” is (again) revealed to be a joke, an impossibility. This fact seems so certain and indubitable right now that I am forced to wonder why anyone ever believed in such a thing.