One thing in the shitty first draft is that I think I’m pretty much “Point of view? I choose all of them!!!!” It’s mostly in third person, but sometimes it’s clear there’s an “I” who’s telling you the story and sometimes that “I” is doing things with “you” and narrating what “you and I” are doing.
I’ve written some parts in past tense, some parts in present tense, and a few parts in future tense.
It’s a mess. But I’m hoping I can make it work.
My problem–well, maybe “problem” is too strong a word–my issue as a writer is that I’m the kind of person who doesn’t want to ride in the hot air balloon. I want to watch how they lay the basket on its side and roll out the balloon and fill it with hot air and tilt it upward and, eventually, let it loose from the earth. I kind of don’t give a shit where it goes once it gets up there.
I like walks because I live in a beautiful place and getting to move slowly through it is an enormous treat. My brain often shuts down and I can just enjoy things without having to think about them half-to-death.
But the other thing I like about walking is that sometimes my brain doesn’t shut down, but just goes off in its own directions. So, this morning, while I was stuck with the earworm of “It is Well With My Soul” (Holy shit, do not go to YouTube and look for “It is Well With My Soul” unless you want to go down a rabbit hole of despair at how Contemporary Christian Music can ruin every single thing with the judicious use of terrible synthesizers. I almost can’t go on with my post. I wonder–and maybe this is not a fair question–did these people never hear that song in church? And don’t even get me started on all the grief porn now attached to the song. Lord almighty. Let us all listen to Marion Williams singing it so that at least I can get on with my day. Granted, this is not how we sang it in church. But you can bet I will be singing it like this in the shower. Oh, wait, here is a group doing it with the right call and response part on the chorus. All they need is a piano. [Yes, I know, they don’t believe in pianos in church. I was making a joke.])
People, look back at that last paragraph. We are still in the middle of a sentence. That one that starts “So, this morning, wile I was…” That hasn’t ever ended. I started writing it twenty minutes ago, but got completely off track. I’m almost not sure how to get back to it. We were on a path, we got sidetracked and we’ve got to either get back to the main path right now or give up on continuing on that way. But how do I punctuate an indication that we’re back on the main trail? We’re outside of the parentheses and beyond a YouTube video. We have a whole new paragraph here in a sentence that has not ended. I’m just going to pick it back up in the next paragraph. It’s all I can do. And to think Franzen thinks this kind of meta-playfulness sucks. Whatever, Franzen. I have a new paragraph in the middle of my sentence. What do you have? Oh, right. Millions of dollars. Anyway…
Walking, earworm, and I realized that this part of writing sucks so bad because I just don’t give a shit about what these characters are doing right now. Action, shmaction. I want to know about the kid who came back from the future and who must surely be running out of drugs by now. And so I’m going to write about him.