From The Minds of a Cereal Killer: On Writing a Novel

Let me preface this with: I’m Lazy.

Trying to write this novel has been something akin to getting into a relationship with a person who is perfect one day and then totally wrong the next day. I tried the forceful ‘write everyday’ approach but, that didn’t bring me any pleasure. Now I’m, seemingly, on hiatus from writing the novel. I haven’t written since about the time I was in school and I feel content with not writing until I go back.

there’s something about writing that I just can’t get into if I’m not in the mood. The words will be in my mind but; they won’t come out the right way and so instead of putting out something forced and contrived I prefer not to put anything out at all. When I used to write by hand I would always do it when I was supposed to be doing something else. I wrote in school all the time during class, so much so that it got me into trouble. Sometimes I would write on the train but; I would rarely ever write when I was at home. There was something about sitting in my own apartment and writing that seemed perverse to me, especially if my mother was home. I felt like I was masturbating or something of the like while she was around, it was something I didn’t want her to see.

When I started typing on the computer I found that I had somewhat of a 180. I could suddenly write at home with my mother home (so long as she didn’t cause a constant distraction) but, I would write by hand and then transcribe later, writing the same thing twice NEVER appealed to me.

Now I write in school again just not during class time (well maybe sometimes) and I find I’m able to write a little more thoroughly that way. Still I can’t write for a long duration of time, it takes me quite a bit of time to write a page or two and when I’ve used up the creative juices they’re gone for the day. However the two pages that I get down I’ll be proud of and ultimately will be a good product.

Now the challenge is to get motivated more often, the feeling of plowing through a section of the novel is extremely gratifying but; equal to the horrid, wretched failure of not being able to look at the novel without feeling some sort of dread.

And even though I can’t write every day the story is constantly going on in my head, scenes play continuously, backwards, forwards in slow motion, sped up. I see every ounce of the story in my mind in vivid detail. It’s both amazing and terrible because I can experience the greatness that I’m about to create but; sometimes I simply just cannot place what I see on the paper.

The images run perpendicular to my thoughts so I’m able to think and imagine the story at the same time. It’s rare (extremely so) that I’ll be lost in a trance thinking about the story and not be aware of my surroundings. I can look at the halls of my college and be equally aware of where I am as well as see the halls as any given location in the novel.

It’s like having two TVs in your brain playing different programs at once, both at the same volume and image resolution. Every so often I can see the novel world in front of my eyes but; the images gets stuck as if its missing a piece of a reel. When that happens I’ll often act out the scene playing out whatever characters I have to find what’s most effective and natural. This could go on from a couple of seconds to about fifteen minutes. I’ll talk to myself in the inflection of each character, and i’ll do it several times, over and over until I feel I’ve gotten it right. Of course sometimes this’ll draw the stares and strange questions from stranger who don’t understand what’s going on but; that only helps me put the characters into the real world.

I live in NYC so I take public transportation most of the time but; when I am able to ride in a car to go somewhere and I get out on a highway my mind will completely go into a comparison mode. The peaks and valley’s of the terrain around me become structures in my novel and at any given point I’m able to recall the image, almost perfectly to transcribe.

The ultimate problem is that I’m not able to write as quick as I can think. At any given point of writing this novel I’ll be planning out events that happen two-hundred or three-hundred pages in the future and because I’m not there when I’m writing  I find myself disinterested or dissatisfied.

I have similar problems with screenplay writing and blogging and it’s important to note that nothing I have ever written has come out to my total approval, not even in this blog. Before I start writing I have a particular way I want everything to sound but; when It’s on the page it isn’t the same thing.

There’s more to this and as I write I’ll continue to detail the problems and the joys of writing.

In the meantime please feel free pass this blog on to someone who might not have a chance to read it and feedback is ALWAYS appreciated.

You can read my current novel here

And my collection can be found here: Covington

Again feedback on everything is appreciated

And As always I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter at:

Facebook.com/raganork8 and

Twitter.com/KeithBCovington

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