Friday, May 30, 2008

'FESS UP FRIDAY | Back to Square One

One of the most difficult piece of writig I had to do last Saturday was my resume. I'm not totally satisfied with it. But I've submitted it, and it's done. Now we just wait.

What is a resume? It's really your sell-sheet/press release, where you are marketing yourself to potential buyers (employers).

My problem is: I'm the sort of person who hates having to explain myself. That makes it difficult in situations where elaboration is necessary - like writing a story.

For the past few weeks I was trying to write a scene between the two main characters. I'm trying to fleshing out the relationship - and power dynamics - between them in that single scene. I keep adding to the scene, because so much seems necessary and yet not enough is being said. Or am I trying to do too much in one scene, when I have an entire novel to work with?


I regret to report I have scrapped all that I had written. (Okay, I saved the Word file - just in case)

Word-count as of today is ZERO. Yes, we are back to Square One.

Wait, that's not true. There was something I salvaged: a single line from one of the character:

"I'm not the kind of girl you can hide from your mother."

I'm not sure what to make of it. It seems to say something about the character. I'm keeping it for now.

As for research:

  1. Read The New Yorker's profile of Grant Achatz (He's chef of Alinea in Chicago. The guy has worked with some of the best culinary masters - Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller, Ferran Adria)
  2. Finished reading Tender at the Bone. Loved it!
  3. Picked up the following books from the library:
    a) The Apprentice by Jacques Pepin,
    b) Making of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman,
    c) White Slave - the autobiography of Marco Pierre White.

    White is the youngest chef to be awarded three Michelin stars. He is also known as "The Man Who Made Gordon Ramsay Cry", and the first "Rock Star Chef". I adore these bad-boy chefs. Which may explain why my sous-chef is not a saint either.

  4. Started reading Kitchen Confidential and Making of a Chef.

    I'm enjoying Anthony Bourdain, even if he's mean to vegetarians. I can afford to be forgiving; I have high self-esteem. Also I like how he makes chefs feel like pirates. In fact, while reading Kitchen Confidential, I started writing a scene in my head of a bunch of line cooks just squatting outside the restaurant trading barbed banters.

    Making of a Chef, I'm still reading the first few pages - still too early to form an opinion.


PS: The Literate Kitten's link to all 'Fess Up Friday-ers. Or FUFers.


Nymeth said...

"My problem is: I'm the sort of person who hates having to explain myself. That makes it difficult in situations where elaboration is necessary - like writing a story."

This is a problem for me too. I hate having to spell things out, to point out the obvious. For me, the perfect kind of writing is subtle: it leaves things unsaid while making them palpable at the same time. The problem is drawing the line between "subtle" and "vague".

Dark Orpheus said...

Nymeth - Exactly - where do you draw that line between subtle and vague?

One likes to be subtle, yet...

ARGH! Rewrite! Rewrite!

Anonymous said...

know what you mean... i don't just hate explaining myself (inward directed) i resent explaining myself (outward directing)

Glad you didn't trash your draft completely though--you may not believe it now but these things can REALLY look better in a week's time esp if you do a print out & go over it doing corrections on paper instead of onscreen.

for me:
subtle=I didn't realise I was being guided to that realisation/conclusion/emotion/whatever

vague=I have no idea whether there's meant to be a point to this.

guess vague vs subtle can be put in the readers' court... just hit as many of them as you can/want to!

Dark Orpheus said...

Ovidia - What is this about the explaining? Or it is because the explaining sometimes feels like "defending"? Perhaps one day - withnough therapy, I am answer that question.

I was reading something by Chesterton the other day (or was it yesterday?) about the division between reader and writer: if you write it, you cannot read it, because it is obvious that the writer cannot be surprised by whatever revelation the writer had worked so hard for.

So whatever "subtle" writing there is just feels like a pink neon billboard.

*sigh* Guess I can just try. This is supposed to be for fun, yes? *raise eyebrows*

Yogamum said...

You've been productive!

I love Anthony Bourdain. You're right, he is mean to vegetarians, but I forgive him because he is so hilarious and clever.

Matt said...

I'll do anything to not explain myself, whether it's a resume or relationship! But I do like directness.

Dark Orpheus said...

Yogamum I do admire Bourdain for his dedication to food - and I actually see his point of view on why he despises vegetarians - not that I will change for his sake.

Matt I like directness in a relationship too - but I also want a certain space where I do not have to always explain myself to my partner.

Perhaps I would like the other party to respect and allow me the choice of when I reveal the bits of myself.