The Bivalve Outside Its Natural Habitat

Keeping things short today, because I think I know how to get my current project from point E to point F, which has been the subject of considerable thought lately. What’s hindering me today? My own personality and temperament, in many ways. I always suspected that I was my own biggest hindrance, and now I’m certain. It pops up here and there, usually just where I think I have matters well in hand. Of course, marketing is the worst arena for this, but not the only one, no. I haven’t found the knack of selling. To be honest, I’ve only just managed to condition myself to discuss my own work without too noticeable a flinch. If I were using this as an experiment in systematic desensitization, going from discussing to promoting would be like skipping from looking at drawings of spiders straight to standing in a bucket full of them. Perseverance never took so much… perseverance.


That’s not all, as I warned you. I’ve discovered a natural handicap: writing dialog in the vernacular. My current project’s title character is a young man verging on twenty years old, a handyman, more inclined toward the spacial/kinesthetic side of intelligence than the academic. I should be able to write dialog for him, because I know more than a few of this sort of guy… but I keep bogging down. I speak very much the same way that I write, only the writing has no stutters in it. It isn’t that I lack experience with colloquial speech, either. My day job leaves me adrift in a sea of extremely colorful vernacular, the predominant color being blue, so I have plenty of opportunity to develop my ear for such things. No, I know what it should sound like. It just annoys the very devil out of me, to the point that I can’t bear to write it. From examples as mild as ‘I seen’ to the despair of ‘I aksed,’ it makes me twitch just thinking about it. Granted, this means I do get a lot of very funny looks at work, the first time the kids hear me speak. It also means that this character with which I’m working—see? See? There I go again, grammatically correct yet colloquially faulty.


So I’ll never be Faulkner. Fine. I never liked Faulkner anyway. I’ll just write as myself, as each word comes to me, and try to revise the dialog when I’m better-rested. So there.


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