09/22/2016 – A Real Conversationon September 22, 2016 at 12:00 am
So, I’ve got this thing I call the 3/4ths theory.
When writing, I usually start with a lot of steam and energy. The momentum of a new idea is like rocket fuel, propelling me through the setup and into the world of this amazing thought that has captivated me so much that I have to give it form. But as the story progresses, all the compounding information, things I’m setting up, and detours I’ve made take their toll. Running on fumes, slogging through a slough of inconsistencies, and only halfway through the damn thing, I limp along slower and slower. But when I push through, suddenly a path appears from nowhere, revealing not where I’m going, but WHY I’m going there. It’s a destination only visible when it’s ready to be seen, and with it comes a vision of what will be. And sitting on that road is just a little extra fuel, just enough to make it the rest of the way there.
That is the 3/4 point. It is, in my opinion, the closest we get in life to divine clarity and closure to something internal made physical in the external.
I’ve arrived at this theory because it’s happened to me so often that I can’t not see a pattern. And I’ve seen it happen to others: in order to get to the end, that moment of revelation must be had. To see not what you wanted the story to be, but recognize it for what it is. I have reached this point in every individual script I’ve ever written, each chapter of Unlife included. And now, as I look at Unlife’s 7+ chapters as a whole I realize…
I have reached a similar point in the totality of Unlife’s story.
Rather, I am on the brink of it, slamming my fists into the wall in a vain attempt to break through it, ending up with bloody knuckles instead. I’ve taken longer than normal break in the writing process, hoping to come back with fresh eyes, only to realize that the cracks I made are not as big as I would have liked. It’s still progressing; I understand where the rest of the story is going, but the actual writing of it is always the toughest part. Making that notion of the future a reality is always more difficult than the realization of what needs doing. And it’s mostly because all attempts to realize that vision have felt… dishonest, I suppose, which is something I abhor and avoid in writing.
Writing needs truth to it, and even though James’ story has never happened in the most literal sense, an improper execution would still ring false. I’m being especially naked here because I don’t want to lie and say I’ve found that path to follow the rest of the way. I’m still in the dark, clawing for some sort of answer as opposed to lying and saying I’ve known which way to go all along. Unlife is the longest running story I’ve ever told, and most stories I’ve told need a rewrite before I can call it done. But there are no takebacks here. No second chances to write this story. It’s already out there, a part of the consciousness of others, evolving and growing into something else.
I am here at the 3/4 point of this post, where I normally posit a solution, where I explain how to get to the end. But for the life of me…
I think I’m still lost.