4.25.2010

And go.


The past two weeks have passed quickly. Wake. Write. Shower. Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to work while listening to a history podcast. Work. Work more. Social obligation. Sleep.

This steady rhythm of writing is soothing, deeper than it has been before because of its regularity, and you might imagine that the story is getting longer and more finished. How can I explain how hard I'm working on it and how the length and its level of finished is moving like a frigid snail?

Here's what I'm writing about on it's most basic level: I'm writing about a woman who leaves her family. That's simple, right? Nope, no it's not. Because that one fact, that one idea is like this powerful combination of a ton of social interactions that I'm interested in exploring. Here's a sampling:

I'm interested in mothers, motherhood, what happens when you give birth, if you lose the self that you've known your entire life, if there's any hope of holding ground when the beings you birth try to take advantage of you.

I'm interested in partnerships, in husbands and wives, in the ways in which there might always be tiny secrets (or very, very obvious secrets!) between people. I'm interested in how those secrets are dealt with and how that dictates the future of the relationship.

I'm interested in suburbia. I'm interested in women that don't leave their home to work, women whose identities get very tangled up in food and children and home decorating. I'm interested in how those women make and retain friends and what might lie beneath those social interactions when stay-at-home-women are all competing against each other.

I'm interested in the ability to change fundamental truths about yourself once they've been committed to. I'm interested in people who change religion, who reject the people that raised them, who try to escape. I'm interested in people who have a need to escape and people who can never, no matter how hard they try, even fathom escaping. And how that can be to their detriment or not.

So it's a story about a woman who leaves her family. And alllllll that other jazz. Cue some very emotional and intense feelings on my part. Because when I try to write about a woman who leaves her family, I need to understand why and how she could do it. And to get myself to that place, I need to understand so much about her relationship, about how she grew up and how she sees being a parent.

I don't know if this is how everyone writes. I don't even know if this is how I write. But this is how I'm writing this story and it's been a little draining. Hence not many posts on this blog and a bunch of flower photos on the garden blog.

The good news is that it's due this week and then I'll have a week to choose which parts I'll be reading out loud on the 5th. Somehow I'll have to get it wrapped up as best as I can to shoot off to the publication editors by Wednesday. I have a feeling I will think there's more work to do.

My goals are to have a slice of the story finished so that someone who reads it online is not confused by what's going on. I also want it to read well, to sound good when read out loud. These are two very different types of work. First plot, then polish.

Will aim for William Trevor. Will settle for coherent and non-ESL. Go.

1 comment:

kck said...

Oh, very interesting themes. Actually, if you haven't already read it, A Widow for One Year, by John Irving is an excellent novel that explores similar ideas (and has such rich characters!)
-Katie K.