Monday, August 18, 2008


I thought I would share an example of the kind of freewriting I do when I'm stuck and trying to get my thoughts sorted out. This is very raw material, really unintelligible to anyone but me, but it gives a sense of something very basic in my working process.

In this case, I'm trying to figure out how to diagnose and start remediating what isn't working in Chapter 1. It's the beginning work of my second rewrite.

August 14, 2008

What is going on with B?

Who is he?

Why does he behave the way he does?

What is his thinking about the ________ ?

A is someone he can manipulate. He probably feels ambivalent about that. It’s probably not something he wants. It’s like a crime of opportunity and he feels not great about it. But A gets on his nerves with by being so needy and overeager and fawning.

Take the ________ episode, for example. B is pretending, but it’s in a certain pitch that An misses.

What is that distinction? How are they pretending differently?

For B it’s the activity. The project.

For A, it’s the performance for each other. The act of bonding. A keeps “breaking the fourth wall” to talk about themselves as actors.

August 18, 2008

How would they handle ________ differently?

A wants to talk about it

B wants to circle around it. Hoard it for later. Taste it.

A is ocd

B is add

A might also tend to add, but the ocd is predominant.

That means he feels agitated until he gets some full satisfaction. Until something is completed in a some particular and emotional way for him. He has a script he expects to be followed in order to get proof of love. Deviate from that script, and he feels insecure, thus vulnerable, thus panicked, thus he can’t let it rest. Harps on people trying to Shepard them back onto the script—to make them say their lines.

With B, he perfectly willing to stop in mid script and switch to something else. He feels uncomfortable with being responsible for anyone else’s feelings. Wants to be loved like anyone else, though not particularly needy about that, but he doesn’t want to feel responsible for other people’s feelings, love or otherwise. Aloof. Learned it from his dad. That’s what’s manly. Neither of them are macho, and it’s not an aversion to emotion exactly so much as it’s an aversion to being intimate.

Hmm. Is it an aversion. Like they genuinely avoid it? Or is it that when other people seek it, they see it as an opportunity to exploit? To control people by withholding? Perhaps it’s not so much that they can’t be intimate as an addiction to the power that comes from withholding.

These are contradictory explanations. One makes B a lot less sympathetic than the other. Is it that he gets tempted into some manipulative behavior or that he has some piece of his soul missing?

Put it that way, and it’s obvious. He can’t be a monster. Has to be real.

Fragile balance. B tends to withhold, imitating his dad. Gets a kind of control. Confronted with someone especially clingy like A is what makes him feel vulnerable. Manipulating and pushing away feel safer.

Alright, so in this episode . . . I need to rewrite a few key scenes. When B shuts down the game—rewrite it with this motivation in mind. Same for when they start the game and the couple times we revisit it in the middle. The whole tone of it should be more like A drives B away—B reacting to A’s neediness—rather than B jerking A around, or worse, acting indiscriminately, which is how it reads now and why it reads so confusingly.

How about Chapter 2? Harder to say. Need to read it carefully again.

No comments: