Monday, November 29, 2010

Owen loves his mama

I finished my book. Well, to be exact I completed writing my first full length book; some 226 pages of original, if not necessarily good, text. I read On Writing by Stephen King and he suggested putting your finished first draft in a drawer and walking away from it for at least 6 weeks. Then read it fresh and from scratch with a red pen and be merciless in your revisions: "kill your darlings". I had to find something else to do in the meantime and coincidentally I was done just in time for NaNoWriMo.

I got to writing a completely new idea that had just come to me; not the one that I had had fermenting all that time and was planning to write about in November. The storyline I'd been baking for weeks was a young adult drama about alcoholism, abuse and forgiveness. The story I ended up working on was a mystery/romance and while I liked the characters and their back stories, the story well, it didn't work.

I love the movie Throw Mama From the Train. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it. It's funny in a sad, sweet, dark way [along with an awesome but screwy nod to Hitchcock]. Yeah I know it's an odd combination of adjectives but its an accurate description. Billy Crystal plays this wanna-be novelist with insane writer's block who teaches a creative writing class. He tells his students at the end of each class, that "a writer writes". I like that, always have, and it is probably the least memorable line anyone in the entire film has but for me it always struck a chord. Always.

Danny Devito plays one of his students, Owen: a man who's entire existence revolves around his elderly and abusive mother. He wants to write but more he wants praise. And he wants it from Billy Crystal. Owen writes a murder mystery. His story only has 2 characters and the 1st one dies on page 2. Billy Crystal tells him "It wasn't much of a mystery Owen." For some reason the past couple days I've had that line on repeat in my head instead.

It wasn't much of a mystery. Well shit it sure ain't. I only left myself one possible bad guy and that was, of course, the bad guy. Damn.

Owen finally gave up on his mystery novel, finding sucess with a children's book instead. Mmmmm?

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