My Abandoned Exploration

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” – E. L. Doctorow A blank page. A cursor flashing – mocking you as you sit in your office and stare at the cool, blue glow. The idea you have mapped out so elegantly in your head struggles to find its way to the delightful dance of your fingertips, as the glide across the keyboard. You know the story. You think you know the story. I have this idea for a story. Let me start this story. The mocking cursor pulsates in your head until finally you begin to type that first sentence. That first paragraph. That first page. That first chapter. Progress. Then, the artist’s reward calls attention to itself and you abandon this idea, almost as soon as you dove into it. This is shit. I have taken this journey many times. I begin this journey with characters on a blank page and begin to dress them, learning about where they came from and whom they have known. In 2007 after a four-year journey with Brenden Hanley, I met Dan Lemon. We’ll meet Brenden Hanley again in the future, but it was time to say goodbye to him. He kept trying to tell his story through a screenplay, and it just was not working. He was nominated for a top drama award, but I was frustrated. I needed to start from nothing again. Dan poked his mustached, fat head through the screen and said, “My name is Dan Lemon. I work in retail sales. I had a comfortable life.” I was used to writing...