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Reunion - Process Writing


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So, I haven't written anything for a long time. If I'm being honest, I've never really finished any sketches I've started work on, except for the two I have posted over on TheOtaku on my Ether world.  Part of it, I think, is due to outside distractions and my incorrigible imagination ever moving onward, but I think a larger part is that my writing style for years has been to where my first draft is generally equivalent to a work ready for the final editing/revision process.  I don't really do this because I'm trying to be perfect on the first go, although that's probably what it ends up appearing to be.  Mostly I'm just so familiar with how to write things that I end up attempting to recreate everything in my mind's eye exactly as I see it when translating to the written medium.
An ugly side effect of this process is that I end up stymied by phrases becoming disordered or places where I know what I want the idea to mean but can't find the right word.  Spots like this create locks, essentially, on my creative process, and it's very difficult to continue on with anything else without attempting to break through that lock.  I had to start training myself to toss down a similar word or idea and notate it consistently in such a way that I remembered that it wasn't exactly what I wanted just so I could keep writing things.
Recently, though, I've begun to wonder if that's any good for writing at all.  I mean, high quality and fantastic ideas are all well and good, but if they're never brought to a finished state and shared, then what good is all that talent and skill?  No one cares about stories they can't read.  I have upwards of eleven distinct universes swirling around in my headspace, and at this rate no one else is ever going to get to enjoy them.
So what I thought I'd do is I'd become one of those deafmutes take all of the storycrafting that generally goes on in my head and start putting it down from the get-go.  I'm going to translate everything, from the initial concept to the development and building to the expansion and translation.  Hopefully I'll be able to see if this overtly slower approach will actually speed up the process, and potentially allow me to finish a sketch when I start it.
I'll start off with a concept that's been simmering in my head for a few months now, and started to burgeon a couple of weeks ago on the midwatch, when I decided to take a closer look at it.  Concept first.

A man's chronic headaches worsen, sometimes accompanied
by sleeping and waking dreams he doesn't understand.
He seeks out his great-uncle for assistance.

Edited by Allamorph
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Here are the notes I took down during the midwatch.

There was an open space four rows back from the entrance. Andy pulled into it, killed the engine and cut the radio, and sat there, indulging in one last uneasy hesitation. The sudden silence, broken only by the clicking and (groaning) of the settling car, snapped around him, wrapping him in a melancholic emptiness that seemed to grow a sentience of its own, pulling his indecision out into open view and judging him for it.

Introspective - he is stuck between knowing intellectually he's pursuing foolishness and knowing in his heart he's just searching for reasons to avoid seeing a lonely, probably crazy old man he's been told is his great uncle. He wavers, but remembers the children at the gas station convenience store and the woman on the roof of the train. He can't explain them, and he's starting to think the headaches are related. And he just wants to sleep again.

He gets out of the car and goes inside.

Brief interchange w/ receptionist â?? use full name Andrew McIlroy (mother Janie McIlroy neé Tomlinson, mother Sarah Tomlinson neé Flaherty, brother Nicholas Flaherty), maybe something about "not many visitors", or "he'll be happy to have someone to see him" â?? Andy feels a slight hint of polite deception mixed with concern and worry. He isn't sure how he knows this.

A nurse, nametag Margaret, soft beauty faded with age, kind understanding face, leads him into visitation area. Commentary on people living there. She is leading him to the far side of the room to a table by the corner window. Only one man is there, obviously tall despite being seated, his gauntness stark and accentuated with age. Hands once wiry, now bony and calcified, features sharp and angular. Hair greyed/silvered but with blazes of defiant jet black, as if refusing to bow to time. Eyes similarly sharp, but softened. He is gazing out the window in the absent reverie of an old man lost in memories.

"Wait here a second, honey," Margaret told him, restraining gesture, arm + shoulder pat; she goes to get his attention "Nicholas? Nick, dear, you have a guest." He doesn't respond "Oh, Nick, don't be like that!" hands on her hips. Still nothing. She sighs, exasperation showing, leans over and murmurs something to him in Latin. "Close your eyes"? He gives a small start and turns to look at her. Brief exchange; he knows he is trying to her and is both regretful and grateful. Andy senses this and is again confused.

When she mentions again that he has a visitor, his expression darkens. Andy gets more confusing sensations, realises that this is the same empathy he's felt before, and it appears to be getting stronger. Awkward exchange as Andy tries to break the ice with an old man who is clearly jaded and suspicious of new faces.

Possible lines:
- "...I'm not sure what to call youâ??" // "'Sir' would be appropriate."
- "Why are you here?" // "I wanted to talk to you." // "Talk." *scoff* "No one wants to talk to a crazy man, a black sheep."

In the end words cannot reach the old man. Andy brings out a small, careworn plush dog, says it belongs to his mother. Nicholas begins to tear up.
"I gave her this...." Says she never believed, even after, and Andy interrupts with even after you saved her. He says she told him about the impossible things, the monsters, and her uncle. He says she couldn't believe because she had to live in the real world with real people and a real job. She even tried to forget. But she never could, and that's why he's here. She told him Nicholas could help.

Nicholas has Margaret take them both back to his room. Once there and arranged, Andy tells him all about the headaches, the dreams and visions, the train with the woman on the roof and how he was himself and yet someone else; the gas station where everything went grey and he saw children running in slow motion but backwards and forwards at the same time, and the box that kept its color so he was drawn to it, behind stuff on a shelf, and how he took it and gave it to the store owner who saw it and broke down in tears, and when he looked for the shelf again it was gone. He asks what it means.

Nicholas tells him about his former life, about creatures and monsters, about people called Hunters with extraordinary powers, about the Others who gave out these powers. Andy is skeptical, even despite what he's seen and felt. Their discussion stalls, and eventually Andy leaves.

Nicholas keeps the plush dog.
Edited by Allamorph
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