August overture

THE WRITER’S LIFE | FLASH FICTION

black-heart

Words can mean more than one thing. And a good writer can use this to create parallels, analogies and metaphors. Mixed up, words mean a lot more: A story is far greater than its component parts.

august
ɔːˈɡʌst/
adjective
adjective: august
respected and impressive.
“she was in august company”

o·ver·ture
ˈōvərCHər,ˈōvərˌCHo͝or/
noun
noun: overture; plural noun: overtures
an introduction to something more substantial.
“the talks were no more than an overture to a long debate”

I often think about my shit and contemplate the two main ways of dealing with it: Package it up as entertainment in fiction, or just smear it on the walls as fact. In much of my writing, I combine the two.

Sometimes it’s easier to start with a clean sheet. Like I did so many times at school, at work and with life. I’m at the beginning of what I know will be a transitory period, partly through my own making but also with a situation I’ve only partially engineered.

I have a literary voice in my head which speaks to me: Paul Auster. Like the music of David Bowie, Auster is in amongst the background noise of my life. It’s The Music of Chance (a book and film by Auster).

My authorial muse is content if he produces a single page of decent prose in a day. Two is a bonus and three is a very rare thing. And so it is for me, once the freelance work is written and invoiced.

This week has merely been a continuation of last, but also an escalation. I have continued to welcome guests into my home but I have had to question motives; Not just those of some visitors but also my own.

Now that I run my life as I would a business, I’m tending to analyse things even more than I traditionally have. For example, if the acquiring of something requires any more than monetary input from yours truly, is that extra investment worth it? It can be applied to many scenarios and those involving sex and drugs are the ones which fuel the writer.

The greater fuel though comes from the protagonist or antagonist, depending on the viewpoint the story is told from. Lots of scenarios have played out in my head over the last few days. Just like a story, my internal machinations are in conflict. I don’t know which story to write.

“He knew exactly how to deal with what was going on. It involved becoming more like the person she thought he was. But in doing so, he was not what he wanted to be to her. On the other hand, it was a longer conflict and this would just be collateral damage.”

Or; Or, but also.

“She knew exactly how to deal with what was going on. It involved becoming more like the person he thought she was. But in doing so, she was not what she wanted to be to him. On the other hand, it was a longer conflict and this would just be collateral damage.”

At the moment, it’s just at the beginning. The story has a soundtrack: Songs which could be by anyone, but which could be overlaid on specific memories to make a sum greater than the parts.

The story could end at any moment, in any way I please. It’s how I remain in control.

“Everything can change, suddenly and forever.” As writers, we have the tools.

It is said that some stories write themselves: “Stories only happen to those who are able to tell them.” (Paul Auster).

Like life, really: Whichever way it turns out, someone will get hurt.

At the moment, it’s just a page or two of prose.

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