Thursday, April 19, 2012

Talking to myself...

Like most writers I do a fair amount of pacing and day-dreaming, working out plotlines, dialogue, what have you.  And I also do a fair amount of talking to myself.  I don't think this makes me crazy however.  It's more like an actor rehearsing his lines than say...the ubiquitous crazy street person that some unwritten law seems to mandate each small town must possess.

So it was quite a surprise to come across the following exchange while revising some dialogue in my current manuscript. 

[This dialogue stinks...change it.]

and then below it just a few lines down...

[No it doesn't, you're an idiot. shut up.]

Now let me back up a bit.  You see, when I write a new novel and I get "stuck" on some issue, I never let it get to me for very long.  Instead I skip over it, and forge ahead.  If needed I put in a small note in brackets [like this] that tells me what was troubling to me, so that I know I need to come back to this part and rethink it some.  At some point in the writing, I will hand this to an outside reader, but at this point, the only one reading the text is me. So obviously, on some past revision, I rethought my original re-thinking and told my past self he was an idiot.  I have no memory of writing either comment.

This raises some questions.

Why didn't I just delete the first edit in brackets, instead of adding a comment to the version of myself from the past?  Was I angry and my former self and just needed to put the old doubter in his place?  It makes no sense.  Doesn't this make me crazy?

Don't answer that.

If you need me, I'll be down on the corner shouting at the emptiness about aliens, dental work and the Denver airport.

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