Monday, January 18, 2010

PROCESSING

'Been a while', as the song lyric goes.  Writing sketches and capturing moments in time, a trip along a dusty trail, literary reportage, it's fun, yeah, but nothing like diving into deep water with a couple of characters and an idea.
Started with an email to a friend who I scatter-shoot with ideas, stuff to get my fingers moving, and I started letting him know of the process, how I need to 'connect the dots' to hear stories brewing in the bottom of the barrel.  
It worked.
Scrolling through web bookmarks I landed on a site for a distributor of products that I like to survey, a distributor who sold me a hard duty bag I use to carry my essential stuff on the road, and there it was.  
An idea. 
This particular distributor is so close I could walk over there, and his product line so varied and his clients so world-wide, it hit me.

Drive in to an opening scene and let it go. . .character development will come. . .scenes and plot and direction will unfold.  
Come on Elmore Leonard, show me how to make it pop, let me hear it sing, play it up and down the keyboard with all the notes and the chords and the progressions, improvise on a theme and vamp up the back end.  No worries, clip the dialog to its finest, tightest phrases, snip the fat down to bare bones.  Turn up the heat, sizzle,and there...voila, we're underway.
Good rainy day to stay indoors and keep the fire burning.
The main guy, he ain't me, no way, no way, but he gets my touch and I work him like a dog, digging into him until he reveals secrets and fears and motivations that move him through whatever comes out of this writing.  Then I'll decide if he stays, if he goes, if he needs a brain transplant or a soul or more conscience or some chicken fried steak smothered with gravy and mashed potatoes.  He might need all of it before we're through.  
We go on this journey together, for a while, before either one of us tires, turns back, gets bored, distracted, a woman steals either one of us, letting us have our way in between the dusty diners and motels.  
Neon, baby, lots of neon and road houses.  Bourbon, ice, smooth as hot syrup poured from ancient crystal, crackling on the rocks.  
Let's go, man, let's move..

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