Monday, June 23, 2008

The Waterboys and Perspective



Hopefully you can all access the video up there... this one worked out great because I wasn’t sure how many people had ever heard this song – and the lyrics run through the video, which is important to illustrating the story... so go ahead and play the video... I’ll wait....


Still waiting....

Yep, I’m still waiting...

Couldn’t access it? Really? Well, that’s not flippin helpful is it?

Wait...

Okay, here... you can read the lyrics on this page and if you really have a hankering for 80’s British rock, just google Whole of the Moon and you’ll come up with a slew of YouTube video’s....

Okay.... ready now?

Eons and eons ago, when I was young and feisty and full of shit, someone played me this song and said that it reminded them of me... which, of course, was flattering as all hell. They really thought that I had some cosmic understanding... that I saw all of the answers before me and moved with some sure footedness that they lacked. The truth was, I made it up as I went along... I still do.

And these types of things have happened to me throughout my life and relationships. I’ve noticed that a lot of times, people project characteristics onto me that I don’t actually possess – both good and bad. A lot of the time, they’re projecting their own thinking... I’ve had women think I would steal their boyfriends or husbands, not because I wanted to or would, but because it’s something they’ve done themselves... In turn, though, some of the nicest people in the world give me a little more credit than I probably deserve, because they see their own good nature.

I think, for most of us, the person we know ourselves to be, the one we see in the mirror and face at night when nothing else moves or breathes or takes our attention, that person is not the same one anyone else sees. Not because we’re actively trying to hide our inner workings, just because there are other variables at play. When someone asks you how you are, you say ‘fine’... or, you give them a laundry list of complains in which case they will eventually start to actively avoid you... but, the deeper pondering for me, right this second, is not so much all the muck and garbage that no one else sees because we don’t want to bother them with it, but all of the traits they see that we don’t realize or think are there.

Is the me I am in my head more valid than the one other people see? Whose perspective counts more? Or are they equal? And let’s bring this around to the subject of writing, because that’s where it’s really coming from for me – how do you show this sort of duality in your characters? Do you show it? Have you thought about it before? Are your characters the same to the outside world as they are in the sanctity of their own thoughts? Do they project themselves differently? And is it on purpose or is it the perspective of other characters that comes into play?

And now I wonder if I’m explaining this accurately at all. Perhaps it’s just a tangent I’m on with regard to the writing I’ve been doing lately... the story I’m working on is boiling down to a dynamic that isn’t at all what it appears, and each person interwoven in this particular family has a different take on the others, that’s valid but not identical to what the separate characters see themselves... I think I may be floating in the literary ocean on this one, I’m afraid I might be in the middle of it with nothing but a little plastic ducky raft... but the bill squeaks and I haven’t seen any sharks yet... I sent the first page to a reader friend of mine, who liked the voice, and I do too, she’s a spitfire... but the whole of it, what’s fleshing out is so vast and uncontainable. Every character demands their own understanding, both the inner world and way they see themselves and the outer world – the way they’re seen... and here’s the kicker, the way a character is seen by one of the other characters is not the way they’re seen by every character...

Have you ever taken on a story that you just don’t know if you have the chops to handle? The real scary thing is, I have, as I mentioned in an earlier post, multiple other pitches fleshed out that I could be working on... but this is the only thing I feel compelled to write.

Perhaps I should go and listen to some nice fifties music... clean and easy, without the esoteric gibberish... How about you guys? How do you work with these complex characters? And have you ever started a project thinking you might not be writer enough to manage the scope it demands?

11 comments:

Erica Orloff said...

One of my favorite songs and groups of all time--great lyricist.

And my boyfriend told me the song reminded him of me. LOL!

And yes, I am starting a new book that I am not sure I can handle--there's an immense amount of research, and the voice is ambitious, and the CONCEPT is really, really "out there" in terms of ambition. So we'll see. It's a scary/exciting place.

E

Stephen Parrish said...

And have you ever started a project thinking you might not be writer enough to manage the scope it demands?

Funny, I've been wrestling with what project to tackle next, and I've decided to tackle the one that scares me the most (you know which one). In general I think we should always be writing something at least a little bit out of reach.

Travis Erwin said...

Yeah I've got several story idea that I am saving for the day I feel good enough to be able to pull of writing them.

Merry Monteleone said...

Erica,

See, I knew there had to be a reason I liked you - we both evoke really good song dedications :-)

"It's a scary/exciting place." - And maybe that's it... maybe I should stop fretting over the scary aspect and just enjoy the writing journey... in the worst case scenario, it won't be saleable... but it might just be the best thing I've ever written - and who wants to miss that chance?

Hi Stephen,

I think that's probably good advice - to reach higher than you think you can... I still haven't quite figured out how to write the complex thoughts funneling around in my head, and I'm a little worried that it might be too literary to hold anyone else's attention... ack... writer angst...

Hi Travis,

I think what I'm trying to talk myself into - setting this one to the side to concentrate on the easier, more straight forward story...

Mary Witzl said...

I could not get that to download!

I consistently bite off more than I can chew with characters. Their personalities aren't so complex, but their experiences always are. I'm not sure what that says about me. I tell myself that if I just stuck to less garbled plots, I might well be published by now.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Mary,

You know, the less garbled plot thing is exactly what I'm telling myself right now...

Why can't I just get inspiration for a nice fast paced adventure or mystery? Mine never seem to have that clear cut of a plot and I have to dig it out after much writing.

CRM Software said...

One my favourite of songs. You have a beautiful side.

Demon Hunter said...

Merry, I must admit that there are projects I have in mind that are "too big" for me to write at this point in time. I see me writing those a few years down the road. Good post. :-)

Josephine Damian said...

Merry: Ten years ago, when I got the idea for my WIP, even after that when I met a Serbian woman who was forced to become a soldier at the age of 15 (she gave me the idea for my character), I knew I did not have the chops to write it.

Now, after 10 years of research, of working out the plot in my head, after studying forensic psychology myself so that I'm confident enough to write about it, I'm ready. No fear.

My next book after this (a historical) scares me, but in a few more years, it won't.

Good topic.

Ello said...

Good post! I'm so glad to be back and reading blogs again. I've missed it! Great song. Great lyrics and I can see how you are this song. I think you are in the grips of a new story and it may be overwhelming now but I know you will be able to tame it! And send me whatever you want to look at! I am eager!

BTW - I finished Seven Kingdoms. Woo hoo! Tell me whens a good time to send you the whole thing!

jerseygirl89 said...

Great song - haven't thought of them in years.

As for feeling out of my depth, I feel that way with most projects. Sometimes I just keep going, sometimes I shelve it until I feel more prepared.