Friday, August 22, 2008

Time Out for "Research""

Does taking time out to watch Stranger than Fiction count as research? I think so ;) There's a strong anomalous cognition aspect to it, not to mention the running commentary on 'the process' of writing.

Karl Iagnemma on the dreaded process:

For me (and most of the writers I know), writing requires a pretty serious amount of discipline, mainly because writing fiction is not always fun. Having written is great—there's no better feeling then heading into work at 9 a.m. after I've already written 400 words—but writing can be frustrating, discouraging, humbling, boring, confusing, or all of these things at once. It takes discipline to return to the chair every morning, squeezing the fictional rock ever harder with the hope that a trickle will emerge.

As far as applying the structure of mathematical formulae to creating fiction—I wish I had the secret! I'm aware of the use of formulae to generate patterns in music, but good fiction is often irregular and surprising and faintly mysterious, somehow very un-mathematical. So I'm not holding out hope.

Tonight, I'm taking more notes on The Big Sleep and clarifying a few major points in my outline, which is still more of a mental map instead of an actual, physical outline. My goal for tomorrow is to set it down in print up to Christmas Break and play with the chronology. I've already decided what things will happen and in roughly what order, but now I have to come up with valid and interesting reasons for these things to happen. That's the finesse of the plot. I'm still struggling to keep David's narrative sterile of feeling, and I think this will be easier when I've got a better handle on cognitive sciences. Also, I'm going to try to track down the writings of some actual alexithemics tomorrow. That should give me a good inside look at how they process events and situations.

1 comment:

Christina said...

I was surprised at how much I liked that movie. I got it from someone who bought it on a whim and hated it. I watched it and said, "Yeah, writing is like that." I'm really smitten for this movie now.