In its present incarnation, the writing of this one requires two, at the most three, more scenes. Between life events and story elements, I traipse back and forth. Like those toys with a weighted base, each character has a resting place from which a word, a sound or an image sets him or her in motion.
Still reading Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 for the sheer energy in his writing. Some scenes, I read over and over again. On some iterations, I skip over the adverbs he throws around the way some cooks use the same herb or spice in every dish. An interesting exercise wherein I notice the adverb’s name is an apt one. An add-on to the verb. In many circumstances, the verb doesn’t need any help whatsoever. Adverbs or no, the reading brings me back to one of those elemental emotions some call anger, others indignation, and others still, outrage.
What triggers. How used. How sustained or extinguished. Producing what? Surface irritation? Ineffectual frustration of the radio or comment-type rant? Steady, slow-burning resentment? Steady, slow-burning commitment to a project, a cause, an ideal, a person, a philosophy?
Life-changing events. This character, for instance, about to address the media at a press conference. There’s something solemn and phony about press conferences, and about the set-piece photos and camera close-ups as the Chief of Police or Mayor or other authority figure serves up the official version to what happened, why, and what consequences will follow (or won’t).
For the time being, I carry around the characters everywhere I go – one of those times when I look at most of my current real-life happenings through the filter of one or another of these imaginary people.