Saturday, July 31, 2004

A Golem of Words

Well, after getting stuck on the story I'm currently writing, I'm moving ahead again after editing the first part a bit.

Actually, despite admonishments not to edit while writing a story, I had to do so because I couldn't get over the fact that the prose sucked huge like a vacuum cleaner.

Let me clarify: I think I'm a better editor rather than a writer, rewriting something I've written more effectively on my first pass as compared to the actual creation in the writing.

I first start out by throwing out lines to hook the right ideas, then words, then sentences until I have a barely-recognizable outline.

Then I start throwing words at it as quick as I can before I run out of courage. Of course, the story starts to look like a monstrous monolith: big, clunky, shapeless, and if you throw it in water, it sinks like a stone.

That's when I bring out the paring knife, shaping the nose here, carving the arms and legs there, detailing in the eyes, yadayada. And I'm still throwing words at it, seeing what sticks and hoping the true essence of the story I'm writing will come out.

Its' a laborous process. Maybe I prefer the monolith to be crying, instead of grinning. Maybe I rather not use the word "again" and opt for "reiterate." Maybe the horror in the story I'm subtly hinting has become flat-out weird because it works better that way or vice-versa. Who knows?

For example: the title of the story I first thought was The Malice of Cities. And then all of a sudden it came to me: The City, Like Cats. I don't know why, but I thought that cats were involved in the story. So that meant re-directing the (as yet unwritten) story into directions I have no idea where it's going.

Whew! So now you know. Isn't writing fun?

Wala lang.

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