As of late, I find myself writing about writing, as opposed to actually writing anything that can be considered “progress” for my thesis. This blog was supposed to help me stay on track, not become a means where I can willfully sidetrack myself. Once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator it seems.
The other night, it took me fifteen minutes to begin writing. It was as if stage fright had singularly possessed my right hand. The blank page was a silence I didn’t – couldn’t – bear to break with noisome words. And the longer I paused, the more unwilling I became to write at all.
I thought of my characters, tried to hear them. Even if they would not speak to me, don’t they speak to each other, when I’m not around? Finally I began to write. The scene I penned feels far from complete, but that is not what bothers me as I read over it.
It feels…pointless. Superfluous. Indulgent even. Akin to nothing more than awkward small talk made to avoid addressing the elephant in the room. What alarms me is the fact I cannot tell if this is merely a symptom of stress (spelled “t-h-e-s-i-s”) or if my story has begun to die. And if it should die…
I have searched for my villain. I catch glimpses of him in Milton, the Bard, old Mesopotamian myths. He eludes me. A flash of movement my eye – my consciousness – can never quite catch.
What a strange thing though, that a story of love, redemption, forgiveness and regret, should be so sorely in need of…such evil, pure unadulterated evil in its oldest forms. Again, this is obvious to me now, that this is what my story requires, this balance but still. How very strange, how blind I was, that I should conceive of this story’s idea, and in my mapping of it, remain completely ignorant of its other, darker side.
But so too does the moon, that pale bride, have such a side, a secret darkness it keeps unto itself. It naturally follows that if I want to tell this story, I must know all its secrets. The light, and the dark.
This is what makes a writer. Learning all the secrets, but divulging only a few.
Week 4 approaches, and with it, a video journal assignment, to be recorded for authentication purposes and to mark my progress. I’m learning that writing a novel is dirty, rigorous work. I must dig deep, unearth parts of me I had hoped to leave buried. But laying them to rest was something done out of necessity. Self-preservation.
But so too is this.
Villain, my nameless dark angel…I will find you. Soon.