Wednesday, February 20, 2013

TEN Novel Progress: the Halfway Mark

I've been a bit of a hermit since getting back from the TEN movie shoot in December. Aside from performing and teaching the odd yoga class (and my yoga classes are odd), I feel like I've barely left my house. (Sophia actually gave me some crap about never going out when I'm not performing. This is a fair accusation. The amount of time sitting alone in a room it takes me to write anything of value is staggering. This is especially true for large prose projects.)

One of the biggest projects I'm working on is the novel version of TEN. It's not quite a "novelization." Rather, it's intended to be a companion piece for the film, expanding and deepening the themes.

Writing a novel is a ton of work, even if the plot and most of the dialogue is already written. However, after working on writing the script for the film with Sophia and Michael, I felt like there was a lot of [vegan] meat [substitute] leftover that I wanted to explore, and there simply wasn't time within the structure of a film.

In one of those great mind-meld moments that happens with my favorite collaborators, S&M emailed me on Thanksgiving Day and asked me if I'd be interested in writing the novel version of the film. They know I'm a full-time artist, and offered to give me a small advance to help me not starve while I undertook this project. Money for art that I want to create anyway is, honestly, awesome, and I was super-excited to continue my involvement in this project, and to continue to collaborate with Mike and Sophia. Plus, writing novels is fun and challenging, and it's something I used to do a lot. In fact, when I first moved to Boston, I called myself a novelist.

The form I'm using (multiple first-person) is an especially challenging one to do well, but I feel it's the best way to deliver the themes of the work. As I start to write each chapter, I hate everything, myself, and writing in general for about three days, then I have an epiphany moment when I figure out what I'm doing, then I write joyfully, crazily, and feverishly for another three days, then I feel smug and brilliant and self-satisfied, take a day off, and start on the next chapter.

I'm about at the halfway mark right now. The insane, unreasonable deadline I set for myself was March 1st. It looks like it'll be more like March 15th (a murderously auspicious date), or even April 1st (a hilariously auspicious date), but the reason I always give myself insane, unreasonable deadlines is because stuff always, always takes longer than I plan for, so if I tell myself I'll finish a whole novel in two months, I might do it in three, and that's still pretty fucking good.

Okay, back to noveling.