Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fragments of a Dead Story 1

Sometimes I'll work on something, for days at a time, only for it to fall apart. Usually what I'm left with is bits and pieces of decent writing, but with no story. That's what happened with "Songs for Claire". Originally an adaptation of a script I once wrote, about a guy whose girlfriend passed away and the only way he can come to terms with his grief is to compile a playlist of songs, a soundtrack to their relationship, as it were. And truthfully, it started off really well. It's a challenge trying to incorporate music into a soundless medium, but I gave it a shot. Well, mid-way through writing the story, it took a sharp turn. It veered into a dark, depressed place. It became an unnerving story involving lies, deceit, etc. There was too much time wasted at the begininng setting up this sweet story for it to take a u-turn mid-way through. Maybe for a full length, it could work, but not as a short story. So I scrapped the entire thing. Still, there are some parts of it I'm proud of, including this section of the story:

"Jude did what he usually did on evenings such as this: He fell back, stuck to the corners and shadows. It's not that he wasn't having fun, he was; but his mind was always churning, the little gears moving in his head. So while his friends would wander off, mingle and dance, Jude would find himself sitting at the bar. He would order whiskey on the rocks, and start doodling on cocktail napkins. This never failed to garner some kind of attention from the opposite sex, curious women interested in the quiet artist with wavy brown hair and two days worth of scruff on his face. They would love the way he looked at them, his blue eyes piercing them as they asked him to draw them. Jude would always oblige of course, constantly drawing a woman's face on a cocktail napkin whenever he was out. He wasn't shy, he held is own during conversations and frequently went home with women, much to the approval of his friends. The next day, they would ask him, “How did it go?” expecting stories detailing Jude's love-making skills. Jude was smile and wink, not letting them know a thing. Jude let his friends believe he was this amorous Irish seducer, able to charm the panties off the ladies with his blue eyes and deft skill with the pen. In truth, half the time he would walk these women to the door, and say good-bye with a long kiss. He would walked away, never looking back to the woman who's heart he just broke and lifted at the same time. Jude would walk home, and go straight to the drawing board, and work manically. He made a habit of drinking, loving, drawing, and then sleeping. To Jude, nothing is better than sunrise after a long night, and he would smoke his one cigarette of the day before he crashed, sleeping until the afternoon. Or until Barry barged into his apartment, waking him up for reasons monetary. As Jude sat at the bar, whiskey in hand and pen behind ear, he assumed that tonight would be just like those nights. Until, that is, he saw Claire. "

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