The Collaborative Fiction Experiment Continues

The way I think about writing is the way I hear runners talk about running. I kind of hate it, but I also never want to stop doing it. Neither do I think I ever really could.

I’m reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird at the moment, and somewhere in chapter 6 or 7, she says that one of her friends likes to think about how he has a choice: he can either write or shoot himself in the head.

I’m not the kind of person that can keep things inside of me. I tried to be quiet and enigmatic in middle school. People just assumed I was on drugs. Which I very rarely was.

What I’m saying is that writing is one of the most selfish things I do. I just go out into the world puking this shit yelling “THIS IS WHAT’S INSIDE OF ME, TELL ME YOU STILL LIKE ME PLEASE.” It’s awful. But I can’t stop. I don’t even want to. If I could drown myself in my own wordy puke I would. Happily.

Which is why I think it’s so hilarious that I’ll tell you guys about the time my dog ate my vibrator and it made me seriously (if briefly) consider self immolation, but it completely squicks me out to think of sharing a piece of fiction with you, the verysame people who know way more about my mastubatory habits than some of my very best friends. Of course, given the analytics on this site, the majority of my regular readers are actually also my very best friends. Hi guys.

One of the reasons I did the collaborative fiction project was because I had been timidly swabbing at three separate stories that I haven’t let anybody see, that I’ve only really talked about with Ben, and that I kind of hate the sight of at this point. I needed to pop that zit and get something, anything out in front of somewhere just so I could know that it was done. I mean, I’ve published fiction on here before, but not since I got laid off and have the specter of real and true failure hanging over my head. I was gun shy, I needed to get back on the horse. And since I’ve been more and more seriously considering trying to write fiction for people other than me to read, I need to be able to ride that horse into a hurricane. Something I’m currently total shit at.

So, instead of trying to work up the balls to publish something I’ve already written and hidden away, I decided that I’d take the bitch path, and have you guys be at least partially responsible for the story. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was also thinking about how it’s nice to build community by including your readers in the future operations of your blog, but I was also thinking about blame sharing. So thanks to everyone who voted.

Anyway, The Annihilator is a little bit shit. It’s obvious it was a first draft written in a single weekend, and that it had three distinct elements that needed to be there while everything else hung off the side like old ratty dish towels. The transitions were awkward and dialogue was used as a substitute for good story telling on at least one critical occasion. (When Jake tells Jessica that, while mind-blowing, the sex with Amber left him feeling sad.) I think that the character development is alright, but that’s probably because I don’t know Jake and Jessica and wouldn’t be able to tell if they didn’t come across well.

What I’m saying is, I love The Annihilator. I love that you guys were involved in it. I love that it’s as finished as it’s ever going to be, and I love that it’s out in the world just as it is. I want to write more about Jake and Jessica. Partially because I’ve already written about them, but also because I like them. They’re not intimidating or complicated, they’re just chill-ass characters that I can take out into the world and send on different adventures. I like that they’re kind of bums, and I like that they’re regular flawed, not grandly fucked up like some of my other heroes.

So, in that vein, in the spirit of wanting more Jake and Jessica in the world, I’m opening another poll for their next adventure. This time I’ll only be using the top result, so look alive people. As with last week, voting closes at 10 a.m. PST Saturday

Just in case you feel the need: