11 July, 2002

Hey, I think the prequel to The Magic Flute just chose its name.

The Etymology of Fire.

It's a little grandiose, I know, but it is also kind of cool. It's also the title of the first chapter, which is the kind of thing I normally try to avoid doing. The first chapter always used to be "A Long and Winding Road," which I was very fond of, but with this revision, I wanted a change. Now, the second chapter is "A Long and Winding Road."

The second chapter was going to be a combination of chapters two, three and four, but now I think it will just be chapter two. Chapter three is still consigned to the rubbish heap. The events depicted in it simply do not exist any more. Chapter four may still be absorbed by chapter two. It will depend on my mood and my sense of how things stand.

I've been getting a lot of good writing done this week. A few surprises. Some very pleasant stuff. The scene I just finished is very exposition heavy. I hate that kind of thing. It was really starting to feel like a Q&A session. Oh, well, I think I've kept that to a minimum.

The problem is that the writing has really cut into my sleep. For the past couple months, I've been thinking that I needed to get more rest so that I would have more energy for writing. In the past day or two, I've got myself thinking that I shouldn't write that night so I could get some sleep.

The thought struck me as just so bizarre. What? I'm deliberately not going to write? It's getting in my way? I shouldn't write so much?

Then what is the point of living?

If I can't do this, then I might as well go play in trafic or something and get it over with!

18 July, 2002

The Etymology of Fire is coming along nicely. I haven't really gotten any writing done this week. Some odds and ends, but nothing to speak of. I'm going to visit my parents this weekend, and it's something like an eight hour drive so I've been trying to get to bed by midnight every day this week. Kind of cuts into my writing time.

Yes, that is right. I only have time to write in the evening after I recover from my stupid day job. This often means that I don't get started until 10 or 11 PM, and I wrap-it-up around 1:30 in the morning. Not my favorite way of doing business but oh well.

Anyway, so I've been trying to follow the technique I stumbled across of writing little bits here and little bits there. I don't mean to say I invented the technique or something like that. I just mean I've discovered it can be helpful.

Anyway, using the write random little bits technique has resulted in my working on a scene without a beginning. Strange but true. I mean things are going along nicely. Interesting stuff is happening. They have surprised me yet again with revelations that I simply can't believe I had never considered before, but the scene doesn't have a beginning.

I wrote some random lines. Basic stage direction. He is standing there. She is standing over here. He gives a line of dialogue. She answers. He answers. Okay, that should be enough pointers. I'll come back when I have more time and energy and do the scene over good.

Except I found myself continuing their little conversation. I don't even know how it turned into a conversation. Instead of stage pointers and notes, Armada says something. Tahrl realizes something, and we are off and running. Suddenly, I've got three pages. More to follow. Then I realize that I have totally drifted off target.

They were supposed to segue into talking about that crazy magician who lives between the forest and the mountains. Instead they are talking about some really morbid stuff. I mean I knew I was going to discover Armada's dark side, but oh man, what a dark side. The Dryn can be really ruthless when they need to be.

There is no way I can drag this scene back on target. I'm going to have to add yet another scene to finally cover what I had thought was going to get covered. More staging notes. Probably another digression. Then, I'm screwed.

Oh, yeah, and I think I finally figured out why this damn prequel to The Magic Flute has been so hard to write. It's because I still have to hold to an outline. We already know where these guys are going to wind-up. There are certain points that have to be hit and certain things that have to happen or else The Magic Flute ceases to exist.

So, I have to conform. In spite of the fact that The Etymology of Fire is a total rewrite of something I first did when I was sixteen, I have to conform to published events in The Magic Flute. Argh! No wonder I'm frustrated. If you don't know what I'm blathering on about, I think I talked about how well I deal with outlines in a previous journal entry.

I'm never doing another prequel. Never ever never ever. Unless, of course, I feel like it.

copyright © 2002 by keith d. jones – all rights reserved
home | books | music | fiction | spoken word | comics | journal | news