12:20:2002 Entry: "Stan : Practical Measures"
In 1997 I had several ideas for novels that were simply rotten, and I kept bits and pieces of inspirations that came to me in assorted notebooks. None of them went any further than being note collections except one concept for a novel that I began to compose an outline for in the beginning of 1998. Parts of this outline have been rewritten by hand at least 5 or 6 times, and I did have the first two chapter outlines entered on one of Ann's computers by the end of 1999. I then stopped working on this novel because it became too emotionally intense to continue. I transfered the first two chapters over to my computer thinking that I would just file them for later development. Instead, since August when I first transfered files to my iBook most of my time has been spent editing the first two outlines for my novel which is called (Practical Measures) as a working title.
What seems strange to me is that something I thought was well developed when I put it away a few years ago turned into a huge editing project now. I think at this point I've edited the first two chapters as much as I can and now I'm ready to enter the remaining hand written notebook materials on my iBook. I feel so old, because if I were a younger person everything I've written would already be in a computer format instead of hand written notes.
I wonder if Mohammed would have used an iBook instead of a pen if he were alive today? Since his pen was divinely guided; if he had preferred an iBook, would Allah have allow divine guidance to flow through an iBook?
The main plot of (Practical Measures) is about a instructor who was falsely accused of being a terrorist and then put do death as an innocent person. This is a plot I began writing in 1998, a few years before the so called "new war". At that time I didn't think the idea could be relevant to too many people. While the American landscape is occupied by hostile flag wavers, what I'm working on still isn't going to be that relevant to most people. However, by the time I finish this novel there will probably be lots of people with real life stories about the burdens of enduring these kinds of false accusations. I would not want to trivialize this issue in any way, so I'll have to be even more careful and thoughtful with this material than I previously imagined. Especially because what I'm writing is a fictional work, rather than real life stories, and real life stories of people getting falsely accused of being terrorists are going to have a more permeant impact on our nation than anything these misguided flag wavers are saying now.
The subplot is that the former student of this instructor tells the story of his life as the narrator, and is at the same time trying to come to terms with memories of sexual abuse from the same instructor who's death he mourns. I started with this idea for a subplot over two years before my own memories of childhood sexual abuse successfully became clear. It is strange how art and writing can be intuitively relevant to us years before we rationally understand our own experiences. When I first started with this subplot I knew I had some reasons to be suspicious about my own childhood memories, but it was not completely clear and I had a lot of denial too. Now I think the process of writing is helping me come to terms with and accept these memories as part of my own life experiences. I still have a lot more writing to do, because I'm still in the outline phase with (Practical Measures).
You won't write the most well laid out novel ever, but you will write SOMETHING if you join!
Or - you'll be a big 'ol quitter! I'm doing it, should be fun!
Obligatory Link: http://www.nanowrimo.org
Oh yeah, and even if your one month novel sucks, you can use it as a rought draft for a better one :)
Posted by Kimberly @ 10:10:2002:10:05 AM CST
is death as part
of denial too.
Posted by aseyelum @ 11:08:2002:03:26 PM CST