Spent today trying to catch this one particular moment in time. Nailing down a single memory is... difficult, actually, I'd call it much harder than putting together a whole series of things that happen to you, because that's more straightforward narrative, and it's easier to fill in the gaps when you're not getting something quite right. Creative license is the embalming fluid of memoir and history.
God, if I was fifteen, that would sound so deep.
Funny thing is, this little bit of prose I keep toying with was just an exercise, something I just wanted to see if I could put together. I call it "writing as portrait" when you try to capture a single moment, or an aspect of someone. Usually it only takes a sentence or two - I have a couple of pages of "self-portraits" here and there, tucked away in moleskins, on the backs of restaurant place mats. Of course, looking at yourself is a lot easier, and I try to push, do the same with friends, enemies, my heroes. It... varies in success. Occasionally you might end up with something that would really flatter someone, or really offend them. I don't trot them out much.
Trying to do one of these for a particular moment in time felt a little more ambitious, but I got stuck on it. Not that I couldn't do it, just that I couldn't let it go, and just when I get satisfied, I bounce back to it. I've hit three or four people today with the "Hold on...one second..." and then manic typing or scribbling. It's obnoxious, and I may wake up tomorrow and not care at all. Today, though...
I might post it here. It depends on whether or not I think the person who its about would see it. That can end badly. But I can't imagine what else I'd be able to do with it.
Other stuff. Did some work on "Cherry Stone." I was looking at someone else's project recently, a comic they were working on and asked me to give some impressions, crit on, and they lamented how poorly most monologue and narration was in comics these days. They were absolutely right, of course, and in most cases heavy narration in comics is clunky, exposition-centered garbage, to be avoided at all costs if possible. So, naturally, when I started toying with my own scripts again, I wound up adding to the narration. It's just my way.
I partly blame Kieron Gillen's and Jamie McKelvie's Phonogram - I've been reading both "Rue Britannia" and "The Singles Club" lately, more poring over them actually, and they really are some of the best comics I've ever read. Gillen's narration in them is incredibly infectious, and both books, though "The Singles Club" especially, are exactly the kind of comics that got me excited about writing for comics in first place, and sort of represent the... timbre of what I've always wanted to do, add to, in the medium. They're great. Consider buying them, if you haven't read them. Cannot recommend both works enough. They're my new favorites, for sure.
Anyway. This is all stuff that if I decide I hate, or is unnecessary, I can easily cut [some would argue that's enough reason to do away with it]. Characters talking to themselves in their own heads is dangerous territory, that can quickly become tedious or masturbatory if not careful. But right now I'm just trying things out.
Wrote several of the flashback scenes for "Nerd Love" too. Threw them all out. I kept slipping, and indulging sensationalism. It's not that kind of script, and I really want to keep everything that has happened very much rooted in the real world. In "I don't miss the green" that was easy - I could fall back n pop culture, and brands, and other things to anchor me to the real world. But I never really had to show the real world in that, just suggest it. Things during the flashbacks in "Nerd Love" have to be a bit more mundane, so the stuff balancing it will really drive home what has and hasn't changed.
I think this is the first time since my self-imposed hiatus that I've tossed a significant chunk of work out. Writing everyday and then chucking the bulk of it was a pretty standard habit for me once upon a time, and I have mixed feelings about getting back into that. The practice was great, the repetition and structure were helpful, but it's hard to start deleting stuff again with my last creative dry spell still so fresh in my mind.