The only way I am going to keep myself sane through the publishing of this next book is to get started on another. This part is always the toughest for me because the remains of the last voices – the characters who exist on the pages of what has been done – are still with me. They are still locked inside my chest bones and refuse to get ready to make their debuts in the world. They have been safe and warm through the winter – feeding of my flesh and devouring my years. Now I need to turn my back on them.
New people. New lives. I keep searching for the one who is going to tell this new story. Again, I keep playing with the concept of what we present to others being the face that is false. We have gotten away from the truth behind “Where the Sidewalk Ends.”
What I want to bring out is a person that has given up their life to be someone else. Who had dedicated each waking moment to running away from who they are. They spend their life in constant construction.
Basics. I have to go to basics again. Ground up exercises to get this person real. The setting I have already in my head. The past two have gone through New York and San Francisco – so it might be time to take on Los Angeles. To take back some of what was taken out of me in my years there. What is important here though is not to show the Los Angeles that everyone expects. The movie industry and all of that. Had quite enough of that.
Of course, the main character is going to want the fame and recognition that comes along with being someone like that – Yes – recognition. That would be interesting – to have someone who’s main desire is to be recognized as someone else. Nice. Thing is, they are going to need to be able to do two things: Run away and be unrecognized and run towards a goal to be recognized.
Digging around here. This is the stage for that. Construction. Some writers put together charts for their characters and plot out – I’ll do all of that later on the first read through, but for now, it’s just got to come out like this. So hard to move on from main characters. Sarah Striker is sitting on my shoulder right now as I put all of this down. She remembers when it was her being created. Others are taking care of her right now and getting her ready for the world. Need to dive in here.
This new one is going to have to be different. Never want to rely on same tricks. The pace though is going to be quick. Can’t stand when things are static. Though, the beauty of those quick paced goings on are when the character stops and reflects on their life. Must make sure that reflection doesn’t take place in a mirror. Never.
I think more like MaCarthur Park at dawn before the kids start playing there. Yes. Transition times are the best. So he’ll be in MacArthur park waiting on someone or in some moment when he can’t move forward and he’ll look into the lake there. He won’t be able to see a reflection or it will be murky or – wait – if he went to look and something fell off and sunk into the lake. Some keys are something like that – he went in to recover them and as he was looking through the water, with each reach in, all he does is muddy his reflection and cause ripples.
Looks around to see the rest of the people are are in his area and see that they, much like him, are doing their best not to be seen. Perhaps they are not even trying to escape sight, they all just gravitate to a place where they can’t be seen. People who have goals of the same thoughts often times end up in the same place. That could be another theme that runs through – Even though you try to determine where you go and what physical place you end up, you find that others have chosen the same path as you and therefore created a community of folks are who are all doing the same thing.
Los Angeles is a perfect community like that – People who all left their home towns and came to Los Angeles to create another personality to reflect onto the world. Imagine the energy of such a place. Yes. Okay. We are getting the setting.
However, the surrounding people in Los Angeles – Let’s call it 10 million people for now but we’ll check with some census stats during the first few rounds of this thing – most of those millions are working class people themselves – they have come to Los Angeles for a different reason – Most from Mexico and Central America – they have come there for escape and for basic survival. They too are trying to get away from a reality and change who they are, but not for fame. They are there for survival. Ah – there – survival. That is at the heart of it. For some, to survive – I guess for all, survival means they have to become someone else.
That is very much what I’m after here, though I’ll have to bury it a bit inside of Hollywood and Los Angeles – It’s going to look inside America and pull back the curtain to reveal that: If you want to survive here, you’re going to need to give up much of yourself.
Going to need a character to balance that one out though – Someone who is easy being who they are and fights the “system” or whatever that system is by simply being. She is in need of nothing. We’ll have to play with that, but it will come. The characters will come. Need to take them all food shopping and become them on the subway rides in order to fully understand. Yes.
Okay – these are the starting stages. Hope you all don’t mind watching the construction. Putting it all together and seeing what works. For the most part, I think about 30 percent, if I’m lucky, from the first draft of things usually makes it to the final product. Those are the tough times – the parts where I lock the doors and just look at it all with iron eyes.
These times are more light where everyone gets to play and nobody is kicked out of the playground. There is no real structure at this point – We are, after all, constructing form. The I is about to become We because the hope is that the characters are about to take over and I’ll let them play. End game is winter.