My dog and I were chased around by a gang of ducks today. It was like we picked up a horde of zombies. First it was one mommy duck, with extra mouths to feed in tow, then another, soon they were trailing us around the marina. Eventually, there was a flotilla of duckers in formation honing in on us. That’s when we made our escape.
It was as if they all were telling me something important with one quack. It was probably “bread!” But I remembered: it had been a year since the neighbors’ rottweiler ate one of my ducks. That event that began months of harassment at the hands of my community.
I’m not going to rehash all of that craziness here, a quick look back at my posts since then reveals most of the facts. But it I need a story to start telling myself so I can make sense of it. And, as it so happens, I was looking for a story to tell! Because I hate myself, I always want to write. It can be painful. But hey, writers write, right? Right!
A lot of planning and writing about writing happens when I start a project. I have a system I use, which could probably use some tweaks. The most important part is glueing your glutes to a chair. Because scrubbing baseboards suddenly seems like a necessity when I sit down to write.
I’ve been working with screenwriting a lot. So, let’s do it that way. Ugh. OK.
First, genre. True Life/Psychological Drama
Now a few words on the theme: Let’s make it something about resilience. Yes! Perfect. Resilience. Resilience in the face of [awful thing].
Now we do a two sentence or so synopsis. This is the basic formula. Protagonist has thing/wants thing, Antagonist does action that gets in way of Protagonist and their thing. Circumstances get worse as stuff happens, and choices are made. But, with the help of x,y and z, Protagonist somehow manages to find/get thing but not necessarily how they imagined it.
Oh jeez, so now let’s apply that to me. Jessica, a troubled writer, finds peace in an old farmhouse with her Fiance, until her neighbors target her for harassment during the modern US Culture War. Being run out of town, she must move and hide fast, and draw upon all her reserves of strength to find a way out, a new home, and maybe a way to tell her story.
There, that’s a start. And I am exhausted! But you got to see a bit of how I write. And its tough for me sometimes. I won’t lie. But it is a discipline that requires working into a habit. But for so long my life was out of control, unruly, and lacking in any expectation of normalcy on a given day. I need habits. I need as much stability and order as possible.
So, all of this should be good for me as I recover and heal from The Year of The Dead Duck. Hey! Working title! You can do it Jess! You got this! Let’s go do this! BEATS CHEST.
So, I guess step one is less scrubbing, more staring at blinking cursor of doom or half a page of scribbled lines.
But, honestly? The thing that makes me feel great about this story is that it ends with “and then she wrote a book about it.” That seems like the best ending to that entire year that definitely was a something.
I’ll describe it better in the book. 😉 Thanks to everyone who’s stuck with me this far. And to all my zombie horde duck friends, and Frankie, Lizzy and Mary.
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