Sunday, April 21, 2013

Run, Amir, Run

I was lying on  my bed, feeling good about myself.

Tonight, I watched the Dakota Fanning rape movie - Hounddog - and also rewatched an episode of Aoi Bungaku - animated adaptation of Japan's greatest literary works.

One of the stories was Osamu Dazai's Run, Melos, Run. I am extremely fond of this adaptation, particularly one scene.

First, the story is about a writer tasked with adapting a Greek myth into a stage play. However, he stumbled upon a block as the story shares some similarities with his own life story. The question posed by Osamu Dazai was, "Is it more painful to wait for someone, or to make others wait?"

The story has flashbacks to the writer's old life, and flash forwards to the play being staged - probably just in the writer's mind.

My favourite scene was writing the sequence when Melos was fighting to get back to a castle, and as the  writer wrote it, each stroke of his brush corresponded to a slash, thrust or parry of Melos' blade. The narrative flashes back to the writer's original story, and then flash forwards to the play being acted on stage.

Then the characters from the stage play spills over to the writer's desk and start fighting there.

Writers are a masturbatory bunch. We're wankers, mostly. But that effect, multiple threads happening all at once, with the same theme, creating an extremely powerful resonance, can only be achieved using animation.

It reminds me of an episode of Kino's Journey. The first one, I think, about three old men on the rails. It was punctuated with Kino's story about a land where no one had to work.

This one had a simple resonance, but Kino's Journey has always been about asking question to the reader/viewer.

These are the type of stuff I want to write, and I hope I will have enough resources to do so, before I die.

Tonight, I managed to write 3,431 words of my novel. Progress has been slower due to me wanting to maintain some form of quality, and of course playing some games. Tomorrow, I will merge that with some earlier stuff I did making a grand total of almost 9,000 words. A bit of writing, and I can reach 10,000 words before my afternoon meeting tomorrow.

If I can achieve 20,000 words by Monday morning, I will be extremely happy.

It is not good to measure progress on how many words one has written. Volume is no guarantee of quality. However, having postponed this project for a long while, I just can't wait to clock some serious word count on it.

And the secret to writing good work, is not to try and write good work. Just write. Like the guy in Melos said - I don't want to read a great novel. I want to read your novel.

That is very wise of Osamu. There is no such thing as the greatest because those are all decided by different people, inside their heads. Blablabla.

Oh well. I should really be getting some sleep.