make it brief

it's funny how the writing process works. a while ago, i lost my first draft of giants. i was pretty close to finishing it, and then i saved over it on my computer. whether it was by mistake or on purpose (subconsciously), it doesn't really matter now because it's gone. after that, i started going through some of my old writing and came across zero sum, my failed work on misogyny. i basically decided to re-write it, with a tentative new title, hideous. well, after digging a little further, and going through my old files, i found some sporadic bits and pieces of giants. these were early drafts of the story. i found that my early ideas for it involved some pretty malicious things, psychologically of course, no real physical violence with any characters. upon reading this material, i found that i had let the story get away from me, involving political intrigue and vampires of all things. the heart of the story, was basically about two guys trying to make something of themselves, of trying to become bigger than the average person, of trying to do something truly grandiose.

i have decided to go back to the original draft of giants and rework it from the ground up. gone are the subplots with vampires and politics. what i have now, i think, is a very bare bones versions of my original story. as complicated as things have been lately, i find that it's better to go simple. go small. so that's what i'm doing. as a method of going smaller, my writing has also become brief. gone are the masses and masses of paragraphs of artsy descriptions. i find that i can basically condense a paragraph of descriptions by just writing one line or even one word, so long as it's the right word. dialogue has taken forefront in this book for sure. not just simple conversations, but also long drawn out soliloquies. yes, that's right, i'm bringing back the soliloquy. it's been out of vogue for some time now, but i think it's time for a come back. the book will also be very screenplay-esque, meaning some chapters will be nothing but dialogue and very little description.

so what is the story about? i'm not too sure right now, probably a mix of giants and hideous. we'll see. i'm trying not to think too hard about it and to just write. the basic crux of it will still be about two guys trying to make something big of their lives. i've always been really focused and interested in what makes men tick, the male psyche, so i may delve along those lines again with this book. i'll
probably focus on male insecurities and male vanity.

i've written about five pages so far. nothing special, just a meandering intro as i try to feel my way back into the writing process. it's been six months since i've seriously thought about writing, but now that my financial course is done, i can move on and get creative. this means also reading some new books. i'm also going to try some new writing methods, or rather, return to old writing methods. usually i sequester myself in my apartment and hammer out a book, but this time i think i'll go public. when i was travelling a few years ago in europe, i wrote most of desert sessions down on a pad of paper. whenever i got ideas i wrote it down in the pad and when i got back from europe, i had most of the book written down either on the pad of paper or in my head, so all i had to do was type it down. i have a two week california road trip ahead of me at the end of this month, so i think i will try the same method again. it was successful one time, why not twice? i've already started taking a pad of paper with me everywhere i go, and i've been doing some interesting writing at the beach and even at work.

the following is an excerpt of one of many pages of nothing but dialogue. it may seem disembodied and out of context but it's not. i think you get enough of an idea of where the conversation is taking place without spelling it out.

- How big do you think a man can get?
- Genetics. Heredity. Roids.
- No, I don't mean like that.
- What... like when a man gets a gun? That inflated sense of self worth?
- No, I mean big, as in bigger than what's in front of you. What's in the mirror.
- What did that waitress put in your drink? He leans over and peers into Billy's glass.
- Knock it off, Elton. I'm talking about being bigger than the physical self.
- Like bigger than Jesus.
- Exactly.
- Why do you have to do this? He leans back in his seat, arms outstretched. You're always thinking, Billy. Always thinking.
- I can't help it.
- So what's it like? Having all that static in your head like that? Gotta figure it's like surfing on radio waves.
- It's tough sometimes. You know, weeding out the miscellaneous thoughts. But I get by.
- Barely.
- I get by.
- So Get Smart: where are you now?
- I guess I didn't tell you; I met a girl.
- A girl? Elton laughs.
- And how is that not plausible?
- I'm not laughing at you. Believe me. Who is she?
- A waitress.
- Here?
- No, downtown.
- She hot?
- I think so.
- See why do you say that? If I ask you if she's hot, just say she's hot. What does it matter whether I think she's hot or not?
- That's not what I said.
- That's what you were implying. Why else say "I think so?" Either she's hot or not, it's that simple. So how'd you meet her?
- I don't know. I woke up and she was there, in my bed.
- You've fallen in love with a one night stand? I suppose if anybody can do that it's you.
- She wasn't a one night stand. At least, I don't think so. I honestly don't remember. She was just there.
- So now girls are miraculously appearing in your bed. You really are working this Jesus angle, aren't you?
- Jesus never got no pussy.
- Neither have you.
- Fuck you.
- Fuck me? Fuck you, buddy. Elton leans over the restaurant table and punches Billy in the shoulder. I know I haven't seen you in three years, but holy shit man, you haven't changed. Not one single annoying molecule.
- I liked you better when this friendship was long distance.
- Whatever. China was overrated. Seriously man, don't believe the hype: the Chinese don't know shit about king-fu if you get what I mean.
- No. I don't.
- So when do I get to meet her? He runs his fingers through his short cropped brown hair.
- As if I'm going to introduce her to you. I gotta get in her head first before allowing your grubby hands on her.
- Like I want your girl. I have my own girl so you don't have to worry about that.
- You've been back for two days.
- What can I say? I work fast. Elton looks out the window of the diner. The rain pelts against the window. Dense and flooding the empty streets. Drowning the city of levy. This goddamned rain, he sighs.