Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Don't turn light on, I'm working

I am most open to ideas at 5 am, lying abed, darkness outside, body comfortable. I once did six lines of a sonnet this way. Mrs BB bought me a mini-torch to aid scribbling notes rather than relying on memory. But a sonnet is containable; these days there is the more sprawling task of plotting a new novel. Here’s how it’s gone:

Main character. Woman, who…? flies planes.
● Author ignorant about gayness (Don’t rule that out. Later, then.) hence a male accountant… culling employees from subsidiaries of a large company. Who may need to use a plane.
Character theme. W. uses word “love” too freely, M. not at all. Thus American vs. British dichotomy. But turned on its head. At the end of (Successful? Unsuccessful?) affair Brit is guilty of destructive passion and American shows humanitarian restraint.
Neutral territory, surely. France?
● Accountancy no longer appeals in France. Man helps monoglot Brits buy houses so probably was more successful once. Mid-forties.
● Woman an instructor rather than charter pilot. Age? Why in France? Gay episode in – great flying country – Arizona? Do gay episodes happen?
Marital status/children of both. On back-burner. Same with parents
Foreground plot. Iraq war. Local French discrimination against American. Chap’s burden? Back-burner.
● Idea from book I’m reading: woman is ugly. (It’s a plot device. I’m not in favour!)
Location (Probably south – better flying weather), acquaintances, families, contrary character traits, etc, etc.
Very long chapter (70 pp at least) flying house-buying customers. Removes much pre-history, frees up use of present tense. Flight adds changing interest.
Dare I do chap in first-person? Would writing about woman suffer?


The Crow said...

Sounds like the new novel will become an exciting adventure. Best wishes, BB.

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: Strange how bare it looks as a plot while fragments of scenes (which I must break off and record) flash through my mind. For instance: her - a port-wine stain, him - defrauded by his former wife via their joint bank account which was taken out when they married as an expression of mutual love and trust.

Sir Hugh said...

There was an item of news recently about a case law defining divorce settlement involving pre nuptial legal agreements. The wife was rich and the husband poor. The pre-nup had them agreeing not to sue each other for money in the event of divorce. The husband tried it on but the judge said the pre-nup must stand, and the husband lost out and the wife stayed rich. Being "of the moment" this may be worth consideration.

Plutarch said...

The few thoughts of any worth that come into my head are usually in the early hours of the morning. I too have to write them down or invariably forget them, and have to do so without disturbing the person sleeping beside me. I still haven't found a means of performing this important task without waking a light sleeper.

Barrett Bonden said...

Sir Hugh: The concept of a pre-nup seems hilarious in our own case. Two years after we married our poverty was Dickensian. The only heat source in a flat with 14 ft high ceilings was a single paraffin stove. On Sunday evenings I sometimes walked along to the off-licence to buy Tizer. Our pre-nup would have centred on the mathematical (possibly philosophical) concept of dividing zero with zero. I think pre-nups only become of interest when there is a big pot at stake, not the case in the novel I envisage.

Plutarch: I've often pondered the blogging obligation you took aboard. In fact you explained it recently but even so there must always be a nagging conviction that almost nothing in your daily life can be allowed to pass without scrutiny. An example of our twin attitudes occurred on the last Blogger's Retreat meeting: I was still chatting to the woman who overheard my question "Is the author king?" whereas you already had your Moleskin out. Both of us used the episode in our blogs but your reference was superior by virtue of the dialogue you had recorded.