THOUGHTS IN THE NIGHT
I’m not interested in writers not like myself.
The first draft is the last draft.
Write as you do if you have procrastinated, the deadline is upon you, you have to do it now! Almost no time for second drafts.
My most successful stories were written fast, one draft. Example: I wrote a brief story a day for 30 days — 8 were published. The first draft is the last draft. The short story done in from someone to three hours, based upon length. 1000 words an hour.
Five full minutes to contemplate story ideas, 5 minutes to defeat ideas of a possible story. 50 minutes to publish a thousand- word short story. Three hours for 3000 words.
The easiest stories to publish are fiction. And the simplest of those fiction stories is a story that is all dialogue. The first speaker says นิยาย something threatening or cynical or offhand about the next speaker. The second speaker responds. The first speaker responds to that. The dialogue intensifies, you can find insults, tempered by sudden bursts of affection or kindness. The story resolves itself from the writer’s unconscious — and what arises in the dialogue.
Fiction, in my own case, is obviously done in a ironical tone, tongue-in-cheek, often funny, existential, based on my past. However, not intentionally serious. Minimally controlled.
When I write fiction, I contemplate it worthless, dangerous, disgusting. I get it done easily, it is fun. It is my smoothest writing. It does not have any importance. It is subversive, mischievous, laughing at the planet and myself.
It’s easy to publish fiction because people want escape, want to learn what they’re used to — fiction writers borrowing from fiction writers, an endless relay of lies.
I’m amused, disgusted, by how easily I get it done, how readily it is accepted. It is like going to church, everybody knows the format, it’s comfortable, everyone around you knows, expects, exactly the same thing. It is endlessly repeating, brainless, exactly the same story. Requires minimal energy, no thought. Comfortable, and deadly safe, like twilight of sleep. Seemingly harmless. As harmless as a tranquilizer, or one more drink. Choir preaching to the choir. Like a subtle drift to death. Brainless.
Rewriting, the necessity to rewrite, is only a bad habit. An initial laziness which requires mop-up. A drunk slopping his drink as he goes from the bartender to his seat, only in this case he’s to go back, tidy up their own, lazy, only-half-there droppings.
A negative habit, developed over countless repetitions of exactly the same mental block/malaise, half-speed, “anything is preferable to nothing,” an accepted escape mechanism unfortunately used in the beginning to “get over the hump,” then done again and again, half-assed way of getting something down in writing — until finally poor people writer can start writing no other way, half-hearted, half-there, sloppiness, laziness, not important — it may be cleared up later, put right.
A habit, just like a tired housewife setting up with intercourse — because it is familiar, it could result in, occasionally, something more interesting.
Merely a practice, a bad habit, an unintended bad treatment for the problem — ways to get started?
The issue is, like any bad habit, finally it impedes, diminishes, becomes worse.
And finally, the bad habit of the writer knowing he will re-write, thus could be sloppy on the very first draft, becomes worse and stronger, before writer spends more and more time re-writing timid, lazy, uninspired, no-heart writing, until it becomes a necessity to rewrite several times because each rewrite is weakened by the expectation, thus necessity, of re-writing again, again, again.
I haven’t any curiosity about conversing with escape writers — science-fiction, romance, mysteries, detective novels — fiction.
Lies borrowed from liars, borrowed endlessly from endless generations of liars — fiction.
I haven’t any curiosity about conversing with writers who feel true to life, their life, their experiences, is uninteresting, boring, useless. If they believe so, I trust them. Odds are they’re right. They shouldn’t attempt to be a writer. They have nothing to offer. They must be lawyers or brick layers or chicken farmers.
They shouldn’t reveal their own lives, because they’re boring. And they shouldn’t write fiction, that is, lies, because there are plenty of lies already.
I’m interested only in conversing with writers very much like myself. And only if they’re 18 to 30. After 30, a few. But mostly no, they’re lost. Like trying to cure an alcoholic. But several, maybe. Late bloomers. Still innocent, by accident.
Actually, the only writers I’m mildly interested in conversing with — writers very much like myself — don’t need me to speak to them.
They, like me when I was young, are inspired, unconscious-gifted, by the great autobiographical writers they read: Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Henry Miller, Anais Nin, D. H. Lawrence, Theodore Dreiser, Somerset Maughm. Maughm only in one single book, “Of Human Bondage.” Roth, Mailer, Bellow, Agee, Burroughs, Jack London, Orwell, Conroy, Kerowac, Melville, James T. Farrell.
“All great fiction is autobiographical since authors write most effectively by what they know.” Judith S. Baughman.
“Write everything you know, not everything you read.” Grant Flint.
Great writers illuminate life. Hack writers facilitate escape from life. Commercial writing is first cousin to booze, over-eating, cocaine. Temporary escape. Life then worse.