*After a long awaited return Antwan steps into the room as if he’d never left, plops himself in front of his rolling chair, swigs a bit of rum and proceeds*
Please Kill Me
You’ll have to excuse any typos, my puppy is currently inspecting me for cooties. “Shoo you miscreant!” Ahh that’s better. Any who, after a much awaited (or otherwise not) hiatus I return. hope that my myriad of tyrannical naysayers are still alive and well, (also those of you not specifically peeved at me). Well, now that’s out of the way let’s proceed to my rambling joust.
For those of you unaware, or uncaring, or out of earshot, or eye shot for that matter, I have finished a novel. If I haven’t bragged enough about it (I know I’ve overblown it, but there are very few things I can celebrate that are all my own, so phooey on you) I FINISHED A NOVEL. That however is neither here nor there right now. As I introduced this is about the road to the mastery of the craft, finishing just a novel, or even five is just the tip of the iceberg, claiming otherwise, would be disappointingly short-sighted. While on that road, I’ve come to the inevitable task of attempting to have my novel published. There are several ways to go about it. big company, small company, independent, joint-independent/dependent, etc. That’s all also whatever. Although of course I will eventually have to delve into that process in some more detail, at the moment I don’t feel qualified to speak on it.
What I can speak on comfortably however is the result that, let’s face it we all care about first and foremost, the one from our peers. Beyond those who are overjoyed and excited for me, as well as those who’ve just earned another reason to hate me, and even past those who respond with “You finished a novel? Big deal, your not the only one whose read a book” *sigh*. We get those who are genuinely invested in the progress of self through self actualization. I can happily say I have a handful of those as well.
The biggest question I get (from those whose words I respect) are “Wait, so… how did you do it? What’s your process?” To which most laughably and sincerely my response is ” I have no F**KIN IDEA!!!” After some thought however I must admit that particular Antwanism (Patent-Pending) is false. i of course as everyone does, do have a process. Mine I am proud to say is much like those who claim to have no routine (a.k.a. they’re not doing many productive things), in that even though I didn’t see it, there definitely was one. Now I will disclaim this first and foremost by admitting that I may be excluding some key things that I deem as irrelevant behavior, due to the mainstay of that particular habit, but I will try the best I can to ascertain and reciprocate the key points.
Ahem!. *loud cough*
1.) Have an idea- it all began with a simple conversation. I often drum up random converse with whomever I believe to be at or above my intelligence. not that weird right, who doesn’t enjoy a blending of like minds? The only real difference I see between this method and others is that (here’s the magic) THE THINGS I TALK TO INTELLIGENT PEOPLE ABOUT< ARE VASTLY DIFFERENT FROM ANYTHING THEY THINK OR SPEAK ABOUT. Yes, my key for original and provocative ideas, is to intellectually ask intellectuals about stupid, stupid, stupid, nonsensical things. This may seem odd, but trust me, if you can carry the conversation, and keep them at least entertained throughout, not only will you find a grand idea, but you will also find the brilliant parts of an otherwise unremarkable stream of thought.
2.) Ponder, Ponder, and Ponder some more- sit alone in silence, or with ambient noise and just think on the entire (previously explained) dumb conversation. Search for the parts that made you laugh, smile, or think. Defend the nonsense for just a little time, and soon, the egg that was birthed in stupidity has got a mind of its own. Question every logical barrier, until even logic must take a backseat to your explanation around it, and soon the story is yours to create, boundless and free.
3.) Time- Now this may be a bit controversial or even scientifically inaccurate, but from my experience, when sitting on a thought long enough, your subconscious begins to take the lead, and mod the beginning, middle, and end of the story without you being aware. It is VASTLY important to keep your own surface thoughts as far away from this process as possible. Remember “I think, therfore I Am” well this book (as I said now has a mind of it’s own. It’s your job NOT to screw it up in its larvae phase, that’s how things go awry, and you get a 50 Shades of Grey debacle. Solid premise, poorly delivered. Life your days, and let your subconscious feed from the teet of your thoughts, without ever directly engaging.
4.) That Fateful Day- That amazing day where there is nothing that you can or would rather do than to sit in that chair and excavate the story from the now fossilized vision, that you didn’t even know had been molten and solidified inside your psyche. The story (unfortunately along with WAY TOO MANY DETAILS) is now there, as a writer, your job is to carefully dig it up. As Stephen King teaches, never use a jackhammer, use a toothbrush. In this craft patience is master, and rewards cautious digging.
5.) Now- after all that work is done, your probably pretty exhausted, but you know there is still plenty of editing and polishing to do. Rest easy. The hard part is over.
And that’s were I’m at now, letting my subconscious take the wheel, while I plot on excavating my next discovery. Lotus.
I promise to be as punctual and polite, as I’ve never been (yea I’m full of SH*T) anyway I will keep updating. Til next time, pen to paper MOFOS.
Happy New Year,