Monday, 16 May 2011

"Ah what have I written? Thoughts suitable to a sanitorium"

After being bullied by friends I am now trying to write a proper "Short Story". I have the idea and about two hundred words. And then I hit a wall. It's very hard to write "properly". Most of the things I write as pastiche or at least from a recognisable pool of references. That's the clay that I shape and breathe life into. I used to think there was an extra value in being able to make something vibrant and valid out of genre cliches. And also it was a handy way into making sure everybody was happy: that guy's wearing a trenchcoat and hat, smoking branded cigarettes and carrying an old service revolver. Ah, it's that kind of story!

But this, this new thing I'm trying, well it's more difficult than that. At first you have to write bad poetry and then you dismantle the bad poetry, while keeping the sense of the bad poetry. You take a toffee-hammer to the words, then a flat-iron, then super-heat them and try and stretch them out, pulling them taut over the gaffes and gaps between what you're saying and what you're trying to say. It rips and tears and exposes whole new areas of incompetence that you thought had patched over years ago. Eventually the whole thing unravels in your hands like an ill-advised pet. And you're left with a sort of word gumbo. Poke at it, with a stick. It just sits there, congealing.

Like being laughed at by a plate of sick.

1 comment:

  1. Come on JP! Don't give up at the first hurdle, you've got... I won't say talent because what's a talent? (to paraphrase the Coens). But you have the right words for your time and place. Just let them flow, don't stifle with refinery too soon, let it work its way out of you. Is it like writing music? If it is, I know what I'm talking about. If it isn't then I'll fetch my proverbial coat.

    *sends positive vibes*