Draft One Point Something Or Other

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2023-05-26 08:00:00-04:00 No comments

This week I wrote what amounted to roughly the first tenth or so of the first draft of Charisma. This much progress startled me about as much as I think it did most anyone else who was following along. It wasn't just that I wrote that much of the manuscript itself, either, but writing that much of it stapled down some really big, important questions about what kind of story this is and what it is really about.

I had clues about such things before, thanks to the rough 30,000-foot outline I'd written before starting. But they were nothing more than that, clues. Actually getting the wheel to turn, the act of putting the words on the page that make the story happen to some degree — those things brought together my understanding of the story with the kind of momentum that made it difficult to stop writing and breathe. What was before a hazy picture, as if seen through bad glass, has now become a 4K resolution remaster.

Funny how all the intense skull-session stuff on my end only ended up being prelude to a couple of casual exchanges with friends that cracked the whole thing wide open. The discussions were about the nature of desire, chiefly how it's regarded in Buddhist thought — not as a sin, but rather as an energy, an espect of human existence that isn't exclusively "us". You are not your longings, but we live in a world that allows us to freely confuse ourselves with our longings, and is full of people who profit from that confusion. I then realized all this fed back into the story I was creating in a way I had not even seen myself at first, and in a way that elegantly resolved a great many questions I had about where the story could go, how it could get there, and what it would feel like when it finished.

My only regret at this stage, if "regret" is even the right word, is how elements of this story still resemble a little too closely some of the elements I also had in Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. Maybe I'll be the only one who sees them. Maybe others will see them and I'll be the only one who actually cares. Or, maybe maybe maybe I'll find ways to differentiate Charisma that much more from AONO now that I have a fundamentally different theme expressed for it.

Really, I should quit worrying. I'm bloody excited. You ought to be, too.

Tags: Charisma themes writing